Op-Ed: The Benefits of EU Candidacy for Georgia

Op-Ed Fady Asly
17.12.2023 (Caucasian Journal). Caucasian Journal welcomes and celebrates the decision to grant EU candidate status to Georgia. 
Our today's Op-Ed piece by Fady ASLY, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is devoted to that historic decision.

CJ EUAs usual with Op-Ed articles, the opinions and thoughts expressed in them reflect only the author’s views. Feel free to comment using the form below or in our Facebook or LinkedIn. If you are interested in contributing your own article for publication, you are welcome to contact Caucasian Journal.

The Benefits of EU Candidacy for Georgia
by Fady ASLY

Georgia’s candidate status was approved by the Council of Europe on December 14th, most Georgians are thrilled by this crucial milestone and have been celebrating, albeit without fully understanding what it really means for the country; I will therefore try to shed some light on the positive economic and political impact that the “Candidate Status” will bring to Georgia. 

The status of being recognised as a candidate for European Union (EU) membership is a watershed in the annals of a nation’s history, heralding a future of transformative potential, both politically and economically. It is the first concrete step on a path towards integration into a bloc that stands as much for a common market as it does for a community of shared values and political solidarity. 

Economic Prospects and Preparations

The economic implications of EU candidacy are profound, to begin with, candidacy status often triggers a positive response from the international financial community. It acts as a beacon, signalling a country's commitment to achieving the stringent economic criteria that EU membership demands; this seal of economic credibility can catalyse an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI).

Global investors and corporations, recognising the trajectory towards EU standards, are typically more inclined to invest in candidate countries, they anticipate the benefits of a stable and predictable business environment that aligns with the broader EU regulatory framework.

Concurrently, the EU extends a guiding hand in the form of pre-accession aid; this financial support is not merely generous, it is strategic. It is tailored to underwrite the vast spectrum of reforms that candidate status necessitates, ranging from judicial overhaul and anti-corruption measures to environmental safeguards and economic restructuring.

This assistance is instrumental in building the administrative and institutional capacity required to navigate the future complexities of EU membership.

Trade adjustments begin to take shape during the candidacy phase, while full access to the single market is a privilege reserved for members, candidates start the process of harmonising their customs and trade regulations in accordance with EU standards.

Worthy to note that through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement signed with the EU, Georgia has already complied and aligned with the EU Trade and Customs regulations and has already a “theoretical” access to the single market.

This alignment lays the groundwork for the seamless economic interactions that EU membership promises, allowing businesses to adapt gradually and strategically to the competitive environment of the EU's single market.
Political Engagement and Reform

The political benefits of EU candidacy are no less significant, candidacy opens up avenues for deep political engagement with EU institutions; it establishes a platform for dialogue, exchange, and learning, offering candidate countries an opportunity to observe and participate in the EU's political processes and mechanisms, albeit in a limited capacity.

 This engagement is a precursor to the robust political integration that full membership entails; it allows candidate countries to begin aligning their political structures and processes with EU standards, often leading to more transparent, accountable, and democratic governance.

The candidacy also serves to elevate a nation’s geopolitical standing, it enhances the country's profile on the international stage, signalling its commitment to a trajectory of reform and integration. Such recognition often translates into stronger bilateral and multilateral relationships and can serve as a stabilizing influence, particularly in regions where political volatility is a concern.

Moreover, the prospect of candidacy can act as a catalyst for internal reform; the EU's stringent criteria for candidacy require nations to undertake substantial political and legal reforms, including bolstering the rule of law, ensuring respect for human rights, and enhancing public administration; these changes are not just in service of EU standards but also fundamentally benefit the candidate country by laying the foundations for a more stable and democratic society.
Elevated Status and Expectations

The road to EU candidacy is a testament to a country's resilience and determination to adhere to a set of standards that are rigorous and demanding; the process of obtaining candidacy status requires a steadfast commitment to a broad spectrum of reforms that touch upon every aspect of a nation’s socio-political and economic life.

While the ultimate goal of full membership offers even more extensive benefits, the candidacy itself is a milestone that marks a country's entry into the European fold, promising a future of closer economic ties, political cooperation, and shared prosperity within the European community.

The full membership of Georgia is now in the hands of its current and future governments; the more committed those government will be to harmonise with the EU requirements, spirit, and philosophy, the sooner the membership, and the faster will Georgia stabilise and prosper.

Feel free to comment using the form below or in our Facebook or LinkedIn. If you are interested in contributing your own article for publication, you are welcome to contact Caucasian Journal.

You are welcome to follow Caucasian Journal at:

Google News  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Medium  *  LinkedIn  *  YouTube  *  RSS

To request an email subscription to Caucasian Journal, enter your email address:

No comments:

Post a Comment