To: The President of the European Commission
Dr. Ursula von der Leyen
31 May 2022
Dear President von der Leyen,
As the European Commission is preparing its opinion on the candidacy status of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, all living generations of Georgians, including us, representatives of civil society, are filled with hope that the outcome of the process will bring Georgia one step closer to the European Union.
Though three dramatic decades of Georgia’s struggle for democracy and sovereignty, the European path of the country – a civilizational choice re-affirmed by Georgians in centuries - has consistently remained a matter of the broadest consensus in Georgian society. Popular support for Georgia’s European integration remains well above the ratings of approval for any party, leader, institution, or political agenda since the absolute majority of Georgians share a unifying conviction of being Europeans to the core of their identity and see the destiny of their country in joining the European family of nations. In times of threats and uncertainties of a new world currently in the making, Europe’s promise of peace, democracy, prosperity, and dignity for all citizens – is the major unifying idea for Georgians across all differences and divides.
For almost 30 years, Georgia’s civil society has facilitated and often led democratic change in the country practically in all areas of the European democratic agenda – from civil rights advocacy and gender equality to the independence of judiciary and media and combating corruption. In this work, as diverse as it is, we benchmark EU practices and policies as a measure of success and a standard to meet. The help and support of the EC have been instrumental for achieving significant change in various policy areas, and taking every single step towards the EU – the Association Agreement, DCFTA, or Visa Liberalization Action Plan – has been strong encouragement. A lot remains to be done for Georgia, and Georgia’s civil society fully commits to carrying on this work to help the country progress towards full EU membership.
As representatives of Georgia’s civil society and grassroots movement ”Step Towards Europe,” with this letter, we would like to kindly ask for your support for Georgia’s application for candidacy for EU membership. Granting the candidacy status would be a recognition of the European aspirations of the people of Georgia and a way to accelerate the country’s progress in the policy areas of crucial importance.
We genuinely hope that in June, Georgia, along with Moldova and Ukraine, will earn the status of a candidate country of the European Union. Granting Candidate status would open a new chapter in the history of the three nations.
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