The European Union Association Agreement with Georgia: What You Need to Know
The European Union has long been committed to strengthening ties with its neighbors in the East. One major way it has done this is by signing Association Agreements with countries in the region. One such agreement is with Georgia, a country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
So, what is the European Union Association Agreement with Georgia? What are its key features, and how does it benefit both parties? Let`s take a closer look.
What is an Association Agreement?
An Association Agreement is a comprehensive bilateral agreement between the European Union and a non-EU country. It covers a wide range of areas including political cooperation, trade, energy, transport, and human rights. The Association Agreement aims to bring the non-EU country closer to the EU by establishing a framework for cooperation and deepening integration between the two sides.
The EU and Georgia signed their Association Agreement in June 2014. It entered into force provisionally on September 1, 2014, and fully on July 1, 2016.
What are the key features of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement?
The EU-Georgia Association Agreement is a comprehensive document that covers a wide range of areas. Some of the most important features include:
1. Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA)
The EU-Georgia Association Agreement includes a DCFTA, which eliminates tariffs on most goods traded between the two sides. It also includes provisions on non-tariff measures, such as technical regulations and sanitary and phytosanitary standards. The DCFTA helps to facilitate trade between the EU and Georgia and promotes economic growth in both regions.
2. Political Cooperation
The EU and Georgia are committed to strengthening their political ties through the Association Agreement. They cooperate on issues such as human rights, democracy, justice, and security. The Agreement also establishes a framework for dialogue and cooperation on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
3. Sectoral Cooperation
The Association Agreement includes provisions on sectoral cooperation in areas such as energy, transport, environment, and social policy. The EU and Georgia work together to enhance their cooperation in these areas and promote sustainable development.
4. Mobility and People-to-People Contacts
The EU-Georgia Association Agreement includes provisions on visa facilitation and liberalization, making it easier for Georgian citizens to travel to the EU. It also promotes people-to-people contacts through education and cultural exchanges.
How does the EU-Georgia Association Agreement benefit both parties?
The EU-Georgia Association Agreement has a number of benefits for both parties. For Georgia, it offers the prospect of greater economic growth through increased trade and investment with the EU. It also provides a framework for closer political and social ties with the EU, which can help to promote stability and security in the region.
For the EU, the Association Agreement provides a valuable partner in the region and helps to promote the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. It also offers new opportunities for EU businesses to access the Georgian market and for EU citizens to travel to and work in Georgia.
In conclusion, the EU-Georgia Association Agreement is an important document that strengthens ties between the EU and Georgia. It offers a framework for cooperation and integration in a variety of areas and benefits both parties through increased trade, political ties, and people-to-people contacts. As both sides work to implement the Agreement, we can expect to see even closer ties between the EU and Georgia in the future.