Why Europe? 2018-10-25T15:31:49+00:00

Why Europe?

For years now, the US and EU countries have been helping Georgia in implementing various reforms and developing existing resources. Georgia successfully cooperates with the US and EU in a variety of areas, including education, trade, and agriculture. As a result of learning from the experience of Western countries, the population of our country is going to derive concrete benefits, such as:

  • local agricultural products of improved quality;

  • better opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises;

  • accessible European education;

  • improved healthcare;

  • increased energy efficiency and developed renewable energy resources

  • better-functioning judiciary, reinforced rule of law;

  • increased accountability and transparency in public institutions.

Better Education

One of the main advantages of European integration is the enhancement of the level of education and bringing it close to European standards, which implies encouragement of continuous education and cooperation with the aim of developing occupational training and occupational areas. This process has already started and involves the following:

  • increasing of Georgian students’ access to high-quality European education through participation in European scholarship and exchange programs;

  • increasing of the number of exchange programs for academic and administrative staff of universities and participation of students of partner countries in the full cycle of joint MA programs;

  • strengthening of institutional cooperation between institutions of higher education of EU countries and Georgia, which implies sharing of European experience in terms of development of curricula, improvement of infrastructure of universities, introduction of new methods of administration, and other issues;

  • involvement of Georgian researchers in the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation and implementation of joint projects.

    As of today:

  • The EU has allocated USD 1,878,845 for the introduction of inclusive education in the system of occupational training and retraining in Georgia. This project enables persons with special educational needs to get an education and find employment.

  • Up to 2,000 Georgian students have received an education in Europe with the EU funding since 2007.

Developed Trade

Cooperation between EU countries and Georgia includes the component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which implies the elimination of both tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulates a broad spectrum of issues related to trade, and contributes to:

  • formation of a trade system compatible with the requirements of the EU market;

  • formation of a transparent and stable business environment;

  • enhancement of the investment appeal of Georgia and, accordingly, increasing of foreign investments;

  • the country’s sustainable development and rational use of natural resources;

  • creation of new enterprises and export products;

  • creation of new jobs in the wake of increasing of the scale of local production;

  • diversification and broadening of export markets for Georgian products;

  • reduction of export-related expenses for Georgian exporters;

  • provision of safe and harmless products to Georgian consumers;

  • protection of intellectual property rights;

  • development of state administration bodies in accordance with the best European practice;

  • stimulation of economic growth and the country’s economic development in general.

Against the background of increased access to the EU market, in January-August 2017, Georgia’s foreign trade turnover with Western countries amounted to USD 1,804,400,000, which is 7.4% higher than the figure of the corresponding period of the previous year. Of this, exports amounted to USD 400,900,000 (26.6% higher) and imports equalled USD 1,403,500,000 (2.9 % higher).

The share of these countries in Georgia’s foreign trade turnover amounted to 27.3%.

Improved Administration of Justice

Peace and promotion of the well-being of the member states is the major goal of the EU. Together with other public goods, well-being also implies the creation of a space of freedom, security, and administration of justice.

The major values of the EU are as follows: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, protection of human rights, including the rights of minorities, pluralism, inadmissibility of discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity, equality of men and women, and, what is extremely important, the necessity to respect the national identity of the member states.

The EU works actively to ensure that the justice system is accessible for the population of Georgia.

  • The organization established the government’s Legal Aid Service, which has provided free legal aid to more than 90,000 individuals, represented more than 5,000 minors in criminal trials, and provided 140,000 free legal consultations to many citizens for whom lawyer’s services were not available otherwise.

  • Various training programs were created with the assistance of the EU. Beneficiaries of these programs were judges, prosecutors, staff of prisons and the National Probation Agency, police investigators, public defenders, and lawyers. As a result, the skills and effectiveness of individuals working in this area have improved, which ultimately ensures better protection of the rights of citizens of Georgia.

  • The EU launched a technical assistance program for the Commonwealth of Independent States – TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), which aimed to strengthen democracy in the newly independent countries. In addition to other important reforms, TACIS helped train newly appointed judges and create the GeorgianEuropean Policy and Legal Advice Centre.

  • The EU spent EUR 15,500,000 for the development of the justice system in Georgia in 2012-2016.

Political Support

The Georgia-EU relations date back to 1992. EU assistance programs have played an important role in the formation of Georgia as a modern state and in the introduction of democratic principles.

In the years 1999-2004, the EU spent more than a billion Euros in Georgia. The organization played an important role in the resolution of Georgia’s economic and social problems in the 1990s, and also provided political support for the protection of the country’s independence and sovereignty and her integration with the international community. It was with the political support of the EU that Georgia became a member of the Council of Europe in 1999 and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

In 2008, the EU took an active part in stopping the August War between Georgia and Russia. As a result of correct diplomatic steps taken by the EU, on August 12 Russia and Georgia signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities.

The EU also played an important role in the post-conflict stabilization. In October 2008, negotiations were launched in Geneva, in which the EU, along with the OSCE and the UN, plays the role of a mediator. On September 25 of the same year, the organization appointed a special representative for foreign and security issues in Georgia with the aim of resolving the conflict with Russia.

  • The organization has allocated GEL 83,000,000 for relevant agencies of Georgia so that the country can fulfill her commitments related to political and economic integration with the EU. The program will continue until 2024.

  • The EU strongly supports the territorial integrity of Georgia within her internationally recognized borders, which was manifested in its support in 2008, at the time of the Russia-Georgia War.

  • The EU strongly supports the territorial integrity of Georgia within her internationally recognized borders, which was manifested in its support in 2008, at the time of the Russia-Georgia War.


Development of agriculture is one of the priorities of the EU. The EU-Georgia Association Agreement, in the section on sectoral cooperation, also provides for the development of agriculture. The organization’s support for this sector increases the incomes of Georgian farmers.

It should be noted that in 2013 the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) was launched in Georgia with the support of the EU. The budget for the first phase of the program amounted to EUR 52 million. In 2016, the second phase of the program was launched, in the framework of which the EU will provide Georgia with an additional assistance of EUR 50 million for agricultural and rural development

  • More than 1,500 cooperative farms have been created with the EU’s assistance, as a result of which incomes increased by 20% and the employment rate doubled

  • The EU-Georgia Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) make products produced in Georgia available for 500 million European consumers.

  • 59 governmental consultation centers have been established with the EU assistance, which has helped 250,000 farmers in their activities.

  • 44 community centers have been created in the towns and villages of Georgia with the EU funding; 90,000 citizens of Georgia use these centers.

  • The Czech Development Agency has allocated EUR 185,000 to support farmers’ organizations in the Adjara region. Village service centers were created in the framework of the project.

  • The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has allocated EUR 700,000 with the aim of improving food safety and border control in Georgia. The project was implemented together with the Revenue Service of Georgia.

  • The EU provides assistance for the development of Georgian villages in the framework of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development. The budget of the program in Georgia for 2013-2019 amounts to EUR 102,000,000.

  • In the framework of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development, the EU carries out projects in the municipalities of Borjomi, Lagodekhi, Kazbegi, Khulo, Keda, Dedoplistskaro, Tetritskaro, and Akhalkalaki.

Increased Tourism

The EU regards tourism as an important component of the economic development of regions. From March 28, 2017, citizens of Georgia who possess a bio-metric passport can travel to countries that are members of the EU/Schengen Area without a visa. As tourism is one of the important points of the Association Agreement, tangible and concrete results can already be observed in this area. According to the document, the parties should consult and share the experience of each other on such important topics as improvement of the service sector, development of tourist zones, etc.

  • Citizens of Georgia can pay short-term visits to 30 countries of Europe for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days without a visa.

  • 200,000 citizens have already benefited from visa-free travel.

  • Using the EU standards, additional information boards and direction signs will be installed across the country with the aim of promoting individual travel.

Better Healthcare

Strengthening the sectors of healthcare and social protection is one of the priorities of the EU. The Association Agreement also provides for cooperation with the Georgian healthcare system and improvement of the quality of healthcare services. In the case of implementation of reforms planned in the country, citizens will have a more accessible healthcare system and better-trained doctors.

  • The total budget of the EU project ‘Social Workers in Collaboration for Social Change in Eastern Neighborhood Countries’ amounts to EUR 1,079,413. The project aims to contribute to the well-being of socially vulnerable population in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.

  • The EU has allocated EUR 1,300,000 for the improvement of the situation in Georgia’s healthcare sector.

  • After the Russia-Georgia War of 2008, the EU and the World Bank organized the allocation of aid in the amount of USD 4,500,000 for Georgia for the years 2008-2010. In parallel, the EU allocated EUR 500,000,000 for Georgia.

  • The EU allocated a funding of USD 1,530,220 for social-economic empowerment of vulnerable IDPs in Georgia.

The ‘GEnter’ Movement

Europe is the choice of our country and society, and the only right course towards stable, sustainable, technological and innovative development, which implies better education, strong economy, employment, highly profitable agriculture, improved healthcare system, and calm and safe environment. Europe is a space of peaceful coexistence of different cultures, traditions, and individuals. These are the values that put the main emphasis on human beings, their rights and freedom.

Europe is our home; it is the choice of our society and our ancestors. We must return home – to the European family.

We must show the West and the entire world that our choice in favor of the European way of development is genuine. This is the reason why this campaign and this movement is important, and this is why we must have a lot of supporters.

The ‘GEnter’ movement is for everyone who agrees with and supports the European choice.