Seven years ago on June 27, Georgia signed the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union in Brussels, which includes the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has signed the 1,135-page AA document on behalf of Georgia back in 2014, while then presidents of the European Commission and the European Council Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, have signed the document on behalf of the EU.
EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell congratulated Georgia on the anniversary, calling the Association Agreement ‘the anchor of our close relationship’.
Happy anniversary to both Georgia and the EU! I look forward to continue our joint efforts to further deepen our partnership and bring us even closer together in the years to come”, he wrote.
Georgia began negotiating with the EU on its AA deal in July 2010; negotiations on the DCFTA started later in December 2011. The final deal was initialled at the Vilnius Summit in November 2013, when the negotiations had already ended.
Although the essential elements of the AA partially came into force from September 1, 2014, the agreement fully came into force on July 1, 2016 after the national parliaments of all EU member countries had ratified the agreement.
In its Association Implementation Report on Georgia published in February, the EU said the country ‘continued steadily on its European path including in the challenging COVID-19 context’ and ‘has remained committed’ to the implementation, obligations and undertakings of the AA.