European issues

PACE to discuss dismissing its president in October

By | June 30th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

PACE President Pedro Agramunt. (Council of Europe.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss a proposal to dismiss its chairperson in early October after a motion was tabled on Friday. The motion to dismiss PACE President Pedro Agramunt was backed by 158 out of the 636 member […]

Georgia isn’t implementing law it passed in return for visa-free travel to Europe

By | April 2nd, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , |

Thousands of Orthodox Christians attacked gay rights activists in Tbilisi on May 17, 2013. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia passed a law against discrimination three years ago, and in return the European Union gave its citizens visa-free travel to Europe. But the local human rights watchdog now says the anti-discrimination law is not being fully implemented. […]

Georgians celebrate start of visa-free travel to Europe

By | March 28th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

From left to right: PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Irakli Kobakhidze, Mamuka Mdinaradze, Lasha Abashidze. (Interpressnews.) (Interpressnews.) (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were celebrations in the capital Tbilisi on Monday as Georgian nationals may travel without a visa to Europe’s vast borderless Schengen area from March 28. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili was among government officials who attended a two […]

EU denies link between Georgia visa waiver and refugee centers proposal

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of the European Unions executive branch denies that there is any connection between a proposal to host refugee centers in Georgia and the recent decision to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Georgian passport holders. […]

Georgia rejects idea of hosting refugee center for EU

By | March 7th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , |

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz meets his Georgian counterpart during a visit to Tbilisi on February 3, 2017. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia distances itself from a controversial statement by the Austrian minister of foreign affairs, who proposed establishing refugees’ centers outside the borders of the EU, including in Georgia. “There are no plans to set up refugee camps […]

Georgian PM signs visa waiver document with EU

By | March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, and Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili shaking hands after signing the visa waiver agreement. (Government of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After years of negotiations, Georgia’s prime minister finally signed an agreement with the EU on Wednesday which gives his country’s citizens the right to visa-free travel to the Schengen area. The visa waiver plan will be published in the EU […]

EU gives final go-ahead for Georgians to enter Schengen without visa

By | February 28th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

All that’s needed is a new biometric passport. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A visa waiver system for Georgian citizens was given the final approval by the EU Council on Monday, and now only formalities remain until 3.7 million citizens of the Caucasus nation can enjoy up to 90 days trips to Europe’s vast borderless Schengen area […]

Abkhazia suspicious of Georgia’s offer of visa-free travel to Europe

By | February 4th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia offers inhabitants in the breakaway region Abkhazia to be included in a visa waiver scheme to the Schengen area. Sukhumi calls the offer manipulation. The EU parliament on Thursday voted in favor of extending […]

EU parliament greenlights visa-free entry for Georgians

By | February 2nd, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

Tbilisi international airport. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The plan to extend visa-free entry into Schengen to more than 3 million citizens of the former Soviet republic of Georgia passed another hurdle today, as the EU’s parliament approved the plan with a clear majority. At a plenary session the 751 member assembly session endorsed […]

EU parliament committee approves visa-free access for Georgians

By | January 13th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–3.7 million Georgian nationals came one step closer to getting visa-free access to EU’s vast borderless Schengen area on Tuesday, as members of the LIBE committee in the EU parliament added their seal of approval to the plan. The Committee on Civil Liberties, […]

Council of the EU confirms agreement on visa-free travel for Georgians

By | December 21st, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The prospect for Georgians to enter Europe without a visa came closer on Tuesday as the visa waiver agreement was approved by the Council of the EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives, or COREPER. Tuesday’s decision […]

Martin Schulz optimistic about visa liberalization for Georgia

By | December 1st, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on Wednesday. Schulz is leaving EU politics when his term expires in January in order to focus on the federal elections in Germany next year, […]

Georgia’s Orthodox Church realizes it was wrong about EU and NATO

By | November 16th, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

The Patriarchy. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Clergy from the Georgian Orthodox Church describe getting rid of some misconceptions about NATO and EU after a visit to Brussels last week. The unprecedented visit started November 7 with Georgian clergy meeting NATO’s envoy for South Caucasus […]

Committee in EU parliament backs Georgia visa waiver program

By | September 5th, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–In a vote on Monday, a majority in the EU Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) supported giving visa-free access to the Schengen area for Georgian citizen. 44 voted for lifting visa rules for Georgian citizens, […]

EU parliament discussing visa liberalization today

By | September 5th, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A committee in the European Parliament will discuss today whether to offer visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Georgian and Ukrainian citizens, as well as citizens of Kosovo. Claude Moraes, head of the Civil Liberties, Justice and […]

EU’s Avramopoulos optimistic about visa-free travel for Georgians

By | April 2nd, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

Dimitris Avramopoulos. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU’s commissioner for home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said Saturday that he is confident that the EU Parliament will support the proposed visa liberalization for Georgia. After meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the commissioner […]

Georgians, please behave well in Europe: justice minister

By | March 10th, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

Thea Tsulukiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani called on her country’s citizens not to shame themselves after the visa liberalization comes into force and the borders of Schengen will be open for Georgians. Tsulukiani told journalists after […]

EU Commission proposes visa-free travel to Schengen for Georgians

By | March 9th, 2016|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

Dimitris Avramopoulos. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU Commission on Wednesday proposed to lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens. If approved by the Union’s legislative bodies, Georgians may be able to visit the Schengen area without a visa from this summer. […]

EU Commission approves visa-free travel for Georgians

By | December 18th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU Commission announced Friday that Georgia has fulfilled a stepwise plan toward visa liberalization. This could mean that as early as in mid 2016, Georgian citizens will be able to travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area, which apart […]

Georgian PM accuses Saakashvili party of undermining visa liberalization

By | November 20th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister has accused opposition MPs of influencing members of the European Parliament to not accept visa-free travel for Georgian citizens as long as the current government is in power. PM Irakli Garibashvili […]

Ukraine to sign free trade agreement with EU, despite Russia’s concerns

By | September 8th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , |

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. (European Council.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine intends to sign a free trade pact with the EU without further postponement, despite warnings from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in Brussels on Monday. Ukraine’s foreign minister met with the EU Commissioner […]

Georgia remains optimistic about getting visa-free travel to EU

By | May 22nd, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: , |

Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian government officials remain optimistic about visa liberalization with the EU, while EU officials say Georgia is not yet ready for visa free rules. The Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga opened yesterday, and even though there were hopes earlier, […]

EU parliament ratifies association agreement with Georgia

By | December 19th, 2014|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–With 490 votes against 76 and 57 absentees European Parliament Thursday approved EU-Georgia’s Association Agreement and adopted a resolution about Georgia with 491 votes against 84 and 63 absentees. The current Georgian president and his […]

Ukraine support rallies in three Georgian cities

By | October 23rd, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine support rallies were held in three different Georgian cities on Wednesday. They were organized by the National Platform, which is an umbrella organization uniting more than a hundred non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Rallies were held […]

Georgia begins free trade with EU

By | September 1st, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A free trade agreement between Georgia and the European Union came into force today, September 1. This means that Georgian product may be exported to Europe without customs fee. Free trade was part of an association agreement Georgia signed with […]

Delayed ratification of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine’s EU treaties

By | August 21st, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Two members of the European Parliament on Wednesday called on member states to accelerate the ratification of the association agreements signed with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in June. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed association agreements […]

Georgian parliament expected to ratify EU treaty Friday

By | July 18th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament will vote on whether to ratify the Association Agreement with the European Union on Friday. Several prominent European politicians are expected to attend the vote, including Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, Latvian […]

Romania ratified EU agreements with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

By | July 4th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

The Moldovan parliament. TBILISI, DFWatch–As the first EU member state, Romania on Thursday ratified Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova’s association agreements with the Union. Leaders of the three countries in Europe’s southeast signed the agreements at a ceremony in Brussels on June […]

New treaty between EU and Georgia finally signed

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

From left to right, Petro Poroshenko (seated), Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Irakli Gharibashvili. (Photo published by Gharinashvili.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia on Friday signed the Association Agreement with the EU in Brussels. The 1,135 page document was signed by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, EU Council President Herman van Rompuy, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, and heads of state of all EU’s 28 members. […]

Georgia signs association agreement with the EU

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia today signs the association agreement with the EU at 09:00 in Brussels. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and the rest of the Georgian delegation arrived on Thursday. At Place du Luxembourg, Georgians have gathered together with […]

Georgia plans concert to celebrate new EU treaty

By | June 25th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia plans to hold a big outdoors concert in the capital to celebrate the signing of a treaty with the European Union on June 27. Georgian singers from Europe and from Georgia will perform at the concert, which will also feature […]

Barroso: Georgia doesn’t have to choose between East and West

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

President of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso (left), and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso Thursday arrived in Georgia on the second leg of his visit to countries on Russia’s southwestern perimeter. Barroso said the Association Agreement Georgia is to sign on June 27 is not ‘exclusive’, […]

Merkel meets premiers of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova

By | May 29th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili (left), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Ukraine’s PM Arseniy Yatseniuk. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The prime ministers of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine on Wednesday met with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in Germany. “We would like people to know that which road to choose, and our meeting today is held exactly for this [purpose],” […]

Georgia to sign EU treaty June 27

By | May 14th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council. (Interpressnews.) TBILILSI, DFWatch–Georgia will sign an association agreement with the EU on June 27. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili announced the date at a meeting with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council. “We received confirmation that Georgia will sign the […]

Georgian president speaks at EU Eastern Partnership summit

By | April 25th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , , |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili (left) and Czech President Miloš Zeman. (Photo by Georgian president’s office.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili Thursday met with his Czech colleague Milos Zeman during a visit to Prague. Mergvelashvili came to take part in the five year summit of the Eastern Partnership, a political effort by the EU to reform six former […]

Margvelashvili to speak at Eastern Partnership summit

By | April 24th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has left for Prague to participate in the five year anniversary summit of the Eastern Partnership. According to president administration, Giorgi Margvelashvili will hold a speech at the summit on April 25. […]

Georgia on top of EU visa rejection list

By | April 22nd, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

12% of visa applications by Georgian citizens to Schengen countries were rejected in 2013, according to Liberal Academy Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is on top of a list of former Soviet countries from where the highest number of people get their visa application rejected by the EU. For each country in EU’s Eastern Partnership plus Russia, the Schengen visa rejection rate in 2013 was: […]

Georgia expects visa free travel with Schengen by 2016

By | April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Georgia’s Minister for Euro-Integration Alexi Petriashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government hopes its country’s citizens will be able to travel to Schengen countries visa free from 2016 at the latest. Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili said on Monday that he hopes to see the first phase […]

Georgia’s EU treaty will be signed by the prime minister

By | March 29th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–When Georgia finally signs the Association Agreement with the EU by the end of June, it will be the prime minister who does the signing, not the president. Exactly who will sign the agreement – president or prime minister – has been a subject of […]

West warns Georgia against prosecuting Saakashvili

By | March 24th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves warns that Georgia’s EU treaty may be stalled if the investigation of former officials continues. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Western partners are threatening that prosecuting former President Saakashvili may jeopardize an EU treaty and membership in NATO. Georgia has for years sought closer integration with the European Union and membership in NATO. In June, […]

EU speeds up signing of treaties with Georgia and Moldova

By | March 21st, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , , , |

EU leaders will sign treaties with Georgia and Moldova no later than June 2014, Barroso wrote on Twitter. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The European Council accelerates the process of signing association agreements with two former Soviet republics, Georgia and Moldova. The move comes amid an escalating crisis in Ukraine, where there is a threat of unrest spreading in the eastern […]

Georgian parliament condemns Russia’s actions in Crimea

By | March 7th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said the debate about the Ukraine resolution was one of his most difficult days in parliament. TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Russia’s deployment of military forces in Crimea, which it says is a threat to all of Europe. The resolution says Georgia became a victim of Russian military aggression in the war in 2008, […]

Presidents of Turkey and Georgia discussed Ukraine crisis

By | March 4th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

President of Turkey Abdullah Gül. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The presidents of Georgia and Turkey have spoken on phone about the latest events in Ukraine. President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, and the Georgian President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, underlined the importance of supporting the territorial integrity […]

EUs Füle working ‘intensely’ on timetable for Georgia trade pact

By | March 4th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia says negotiations with the European Union about the schedule and procedures for signing the Association Agreement must be finished in March. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said this after meeting with Štefan Füle, European Commissioner […]

Demonstrations in support of Ukraine were held in Tbilisi

By | February 24th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

The ones who died in the fighting in Kiev were remembered in Tbilisi on Sunday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgians gathered at the old parliament building in Tbilisi on Sunday to pay tribute to those who died during the recent clashes in Ukraine. Activists also started a campaign to collect money to pay for treatment of those who were wounded. At least […]

Georgian president ‘completely shocked’ by events in Ukraine

By | February 21st, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili says no government has ever been forgiven for using weapons against its own people. Margvelashvili said he was shocked by seeing footage from Thursday's events in Ukraine. “Events are developing in a tragic way in Ukraine, and we are completely shocked by what [...]

Georgian parliament speaker met Hungary’s president

By | February 14th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili (left) and President of Hungary, János Áder. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili Friday met Hungarian President János Áder. The two discussed economy, Georgia’s integration with Europe and relations with Russia. Usupashvili is in Hungary together with a Georgian delegation […]

Romania supports Georgia’s EU and NATO aspirations

By | February 11th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

President of the Romanian Senate, Crin Antonescu (left), and Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, David Usupashvili. (Photo published by TBILISI, DFWatch–The Romanian Senate Monday passed a resolution supporting Georgia’s efforts toward integration with Europe and NATO. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili, who is visiting Romania with other Georgian politicians, was attending the senate as […]

Georgian PM Gharibashvili met Jose Manuel Barroso

By | February 4th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili (left) and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili met with President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso to speak about EU-Georgia cooperation, Georgia’s integration process with the EU.  Another topic was the deal with the EU Georgia approved […]

Ukraine support rally in Georgia’s Samegrelo region

By | January 26th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

People gathered in Zugdidi to show support for those Ukrainians who are struggling for closer integration with Europe. (Photo: Odishi.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tens of people Saturday gathered in Zugdidi, a town in western Georgia’s Samegrelo region, to express solidarity with people in Ukraine. The crowd brought with them Ukrainian flags and Georgian flags and posters saying Freedom to Ukraine, Victory is […]

Carl Bildt hopes Georgia will sign EU pact in August

By | January 25th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. (World Economic Forum.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says he hopes Georgia will sign the Association Agreement with European Union in August. Bildt met with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Ghrabishvili in Davos during the World Economic Forum and said afterward that […]

Georgian lawmakers express concern about violence in Ukraine

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Georgian parliamentarians Thursday expressed concern about the violence in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, as people continued to rally outside the old parliament in Tbilisi to show support. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parliament in Georgia on Thursday passed a resolution expressing concern about the use of force against peaceful citizens in Ukraine. 118 representatives voted for, none voted against. The minimum number of votes to pass such a resolution is 60. […]

Georgia signs on to many new EU programs

By | December 13th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Foreign Minister of Georgia, Maia Panjikidze, and Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia Thursday signed a protocol with the EU about participating in several programs within health care, science, culture and business. The signing took place in Brussels and was carried out by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and […]

Georgians rallied in support of Kyiv protesters

By | December 12th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Tbilisi Wednesday evening in solidarity with the protesters in Ukraine. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Hundreds of people demonstrated in the streets of Tbilisi Wednesday to support the protesters in Kyiv. Georgians, as well as Ukrainians living in Georgia, gathered in the evening outside Tbilisi concert hall, waving the flags of Ukraine, EU and Georgia, […]

Georgian parliament declares support for Ukrainian people

By | December 12th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

As parliament expressed full support for Ukraine’s EU integration, there was a street rally to show solidarity with Ukrainians. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parliament in Georgia Wednesday passed a statement supporting the demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital. “The Georgian parliament declares its complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people in its struggle for freedom of choice. It expresses […]

Supporters of Ukraine’s protesters gathered in Tbilisi

By | December 9th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Georgians have been gathering every day at the same place since the protests started in Ukraine. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Supporters of the protesters in Ukraine gathered Sunday in Tbilisi to support a mass mobilization in the Ukrainian capital. The gathering outside the former parliament building started at 14:00, the same time as the demonstration in Ukraine. Georgians […]

Saakashvili addressed Ukrainian pro-EU demonstrators

By | December 8th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili on Saturday addressed the protesters gathered in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. His speech to the movement which started two weeks ago, when President Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign an Association Agreement with the […]

Georgian president says Russia cannot stop moves towards EU

By | December 5th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili says Russia has no means of influence that could divert Georgia from its course toward integration with Europe and interrupt the signing of the Association Agreement next year. In a TV interview on Tuesday, […]

Georgians defy frosty weather to support Ukraine

By | December 4th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–People gathered in Tbilisi again on Tuesday to show support for Ukraine despite the frosty temperatures and cold wind. About 50 people showed up outside the old parliament building carrying Ukrainian flags to express support for the Ukrainian people, […]

GUAM countries support EU’s Eastern Partnership

By | December 3rd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Zurab Abashidze, who chairs the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly. (Pirveli.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM adopted a document during the sixth session in Tbilisi, which reflects major aspirations and goals, which the countries of the union have. The document also focuses on supporting the EU’s Eastern Partnership. The sixth […]

Pro-Ukraine rally in Tbilisi again Monday

By | December 3rd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

(Photo: Davit Mikheil Shubladze.) TBILISI, DFWatch–People rallied in Tbilisi again Monday in support of the Ukrainian people. As on Sunday, they gathered in front of the old parliament building, and vowed to continue protesting and also hold support rallies in other parts of Georgia. Participants […]

Rally in Tbilisi in solidarity with the Ukrainian people

By | December 2nd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

People rallied outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi to show support for the Ukrainian people. (Photo: Elene Khachapuridze.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tens of people gathered on Sunday in Tbilisi wearing yellow and blue to support people in Ukraine and express solidarity with them after a violent dispersal in Kyiv. “Our Ukrainian friends need support, they mustn’t be alone facing impudent violence,” […]

Margvelashvili: Looking forward to EU’s support

By | November 30th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Video grab.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In his less than two minutes long address at the Eastern Partnership Vilnius Summit President Giorgi Margvelashvili spoke briefly about the country’s past, present and future on the way to Euro-Atlantic integration. After recalling the democratic election […]

Georgia through first step toward Association Agreement with EU

By | November 29th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Georgian foreign minister Maia Panjikidze (left) and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sealing the agreement with a kiss. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–EU and Georgia on Friday finished the first signing of the Association Agreement. The proceedings took place in Vilnius during the summit there of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. The agreement was signed by the Union’s foreign policy spokesperson […]

Margvelashvili to address European leaders in Vilnius

By | November 29th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili will be given three minutes to address the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius today. He is expected to talk about the importance of Georgia being integrated with Europe, and that a certain resistance […]

Georgia’s Association Agreement with EU through the technical part

By | November 28th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Deputy Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaniani signing each of the one thousand pages. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The technical part of the initialization of Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU is finished, and tomorrow is the official part of the proceedings. Attending Thursday’s event in Vilnius were, from Georgia, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit […]

Georgian MPs don Ukrainian flags in show of support

By | November 28th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

National Movement MP Sergo Ratiani with Ukrainian national colors. (First Channel.) TBILISI, DFWatch–National Movement MPs on Wednesday came to parliament wearing Ukrainian flags as tie and with Ukrainian flags on their desks. They did it to express solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The speaker of parliament liked the idea and asked to give him one too. […]

Georgia to initialize Association Agreement with EU on Friday

By | November 27th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said the Association Agreement will be signed in Vilnius November 29 at 09:00 am. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will initialize its Association Agreement with the EU on November 29 as leaders of the EU and countries in the Eastern Partnership meet in Vilnius. Davit Zalkaliani, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, will initialize the agreement by signing […]

EU Commission evaluates Georgia’s visa action plan

By | November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The European Commission is satisfied with how Georgia has completed first phase of a visa action plan which might lead to visa free travel with the EU. The evaluation is particularly important because compliance with the action plan is expected to be […]

Georgia preparing to initiate Association Agreement

By | November 12th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Maia Panjikidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU will be initiated by Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius November 28-29. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said this on Monday. The text of the agreement, […]

Georgia seeking support for EU integration in Baltics

By | November 9th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Georgian Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili (left) and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili yesterday finished a one week visit to Lithuania and Latvia. He said Georgia’s friends are ready to support its integration with Europe at the summit of the Eastern Partnership’s in Vilnius November 28-29, […]

Bildt and Sikorski encourage Georgia’s EU integration

By | October 23rd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

Radoslaw Sikorski, Foreign Minister of Poland, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, and Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden. (Ivanishvili’s Facebook page.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Wednesday met with the foreign ministers of Sweden and Poland. The meeting was closed to the media, but a joint press conference was held afterward. The PM said the guests were interested in the ongoing political […]

EU spokesman: Georgia will not join the Eurasian Union

By | October 3rd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Boris Yaroshevich. (Civil Service Bureau.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A spokesman for EU’s delegation to Georgia says although Russia has increased its pressure on Eastern Partnership countries, there is no risk that Georgia will join the Eurasian Union, because the Georgian government’s stance is clear. In 2010, the […]

Some challenges with EU’s simplified visa procedures

By | September 22nd, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A new study shows that there are some challenges with the visa facilitation agreement Georgia has with the European Union. The agreement has led to a considerably simpler procedure for Georgians who want to travel to EU, as the number of documents […]

EU expert team to evaluate Georgia’s visa action plan

By | September 11th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU Commission is sending a team of experts to Georgia in mid-October in order to evaluate the implementation of the action plan for visa liberalization, according to Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. This was the outcome of […]

Saakashvili: Government is worsening relations with EU

By | July 13th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Tamar Beruchashvili, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Saakashvili accuses the government of worsening relations with the EU and claims that the signing of an association agreement with the EU has been removed from the schedule of the Vilnius summit. Tamar Beruchashvili, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, […]

Füle hopeful about Georgia getting association agreement

By | July 12th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

EU Commissioner Štefan Füle (left) and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–EU Commissioner Štefan Füle is hopeful about Georgia’s chances of signing an association agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November. Füle is visiting Georgia and today met with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili […]

EU enlargement commissioner continues Georgia tour

By | July 10th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Štefan Füle (left), European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, and President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. (Photo published on Saakashvili’s Facebook page.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, is in Georgia and has met with the president and members of the parliamentary opposition. After meeting with President Mikheil Saakshvili, the EU’s enlargement […]

Council of Europe did not discuss ‘deteriorating situation’ in Georgia

By | June 25th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

“Nothing urgent is happening in Georgia which would prove it necessary to hold the debate,” Tina Khidasheli, Member of Parliament for Georgian Dream, wrote on Facebook. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE, did not go through with an announced discussion about the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Georgia. During the session which is ongoing in Strasbourg a majority of 73 members voted against […]

EU Day marked in Georgia

By | May 10th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

The city authorities in Tbilisi celebrated EU Day Thursday. (Photo published by Mayor Gigi Ugulava.) TBILISI, DFWatch–May 9, “EU Day” was observed in its member countries. Also in Georgia, which is not a member, the day was celebrated with cultural events. A concert was held in Tbilisi by the initiative of the mayor. Diplomats and national minorities, as […]

Ivanishvili answered questions in Strasbourg

By | April 24th, 2013|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili answering questions in Strasbourg Tuesday at a meeting of the Council of Europe. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Tuesday presented his government’s plans for creating new jobs, amending the labor legislation and usher in new reforms to promote business. Mr Ivanishvili was speaking at a session of the Parliamentary […]

EU rewards Georgia’s reforms with €22 million

By | December 19th, 2012|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — EU is giving another €22 million to Georgia this year in recognition of its reform efforts. Stefan Fule, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, on Wednesday attended the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council in Brussels. […]

Two Georgian leaders continue parallel visits

By | November 13th, 2012|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Two Georgian leaders representing different political parties are continuing their visit to Brussels, holding meetings with EU and NATO officials. President Mikheil Saakashvili is Tuesday meeting Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, […]

Challenger’s plan: ‘Significant changes’, then leave

By | October 22nd, 2011|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The man who challenges Saakashvili's power in Georgia will get rid of the current president's people and inoculate the country from something like this ever happening again, then leave office to join the opposition. For the first time speaking with Georgian press, businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili said he will fire the Interior Minister and [...]

Political Tbilisi skeptical to proposed new election system

By | October 3rd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Europe, Legal reform, News, Politics|Tags: |

Work to improve the Georgian election environment has ended as a draft has been sent off to the Council of Europe's Venice Commission for review and the government promises that parliament will not start its review until the results of the review are clear. It's hard to say what the Venice Commission's conclusions will be and [...]

Ruling party’s latest election law maneuver a setback for democracy

By | October 2nd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Europe, Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously concerned after the government's sudden changes to the draft for a new election law. Now that rights advocates have had time to look closer at the changes, which were worked out behind everyone's backs and revealed a week ago, their conclusion is that this is a disappointment to everyone who [...]

Privatization will not mean losing control, government guarantees

By | September 9th, 2011|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , , |

As Georgia makes a new push to find more investors who will have a stake in its most strategically important assets, like the post and railways, the state will keep a controlling share of the stocks. Chair of the financial budgetary committee, Zurab Melikishvili, made the promise today during a debate in parliament about a new [...]