Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in Georgia: Progress in 2011 and recommendations for action
- OVERALL ASSESSMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This document reports on progress made in the implementation of the EU-Georgia ENP Action Plan between 1 January and 31 December 2011. Developments outside this period are also considered when deemed relevant. It is not intended to be a general review of the political and economic situation in Georgia. For information on regional and multilateral sector processes, please refer to the Eastern Partnership report.
The EU-Georgia ENP Action Plan (ENP AP) expired on 31 December 2011. The EU and Georgia jointly agreed at the Cooperation Council on 1 December an extension to the ENP AP until the negotiations on an Association Agreement are sufficiently advanced.
The EU and Georgia made progress in deepening and broadening EU-Georgia relations within the Eastern Partnership framework. Negotiations on the Association Agreement were constructive and made significant headway during the year.
Georgia made sufficient progress in fulfilling the key recommendations necessary for launching negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), as an integral part of the future Association Agreement. On that basis the EU agreed, in December, to launch the DCFTA negotiations. The first round has taken place.
Georgia made good progress in implementing the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements, which entered into force in March 2011. It showed great interest in launching a visa dialogue as the next step in the process of visa liberalisation.
Georgia continued to make progress in the fight against corruption. It continued to implement political reforms. It passed several amendments to key laws in the political and justice, freedom and security domains. At the same time, questions remained about the fairness of the election environment, including the difference in the number of votes required to elect a deputy in each electoral district, ambiguities in the electoral dispute mechanisms, equal access to the media and insufficiently regulated use by the ruling party of state resources for political purposes.