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Press Release - Dr. Marcoullis chaired the EU–Georgia Cooperation Council
18.12.2012, 19:01 (CET)
The European Union and Georgia held the thirteenth annual meeting of their Co-operation Council on Tuesday December 18, 2012, in Brussels. The EU was represented by Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, who chaired the Cooperation Council on behalf of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. The Georgian delegation was headed by Dr Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by Alex Petriashvili, State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

This Co-operation Council was the first to take place since Georgia’s new government took office following the parliamentary elections of October 1, 2012.  The EU congratulated the Georgian side on this democratic landmark, and looked forward to further consolidation and development of Georgia’s democracy ahead of the 2013 presidential elections, including through constructive cohabitation between the Prime Minister and President.  The EU will continue to support Georgia, as a key partner, in these efforts.

The EU and Georgia discussed the role of strong democratic institutions in underpinning political pluralism, media freedom, and an independent judiciary.  The EU stressed the importance of ensuring that criminal prosecutions are conducted in a transparent and impartial manner, free of political motivation. The EU also flagged penal reform as a priority issue, requiring urgent action and sustained attention.

The two sides discussed recent developments in conflict resolution in Georgia.  The EU welcomed the first direct talks between Georgia and the Russian Federation since 2008.  The EU also welcomed the fact that Georgia has signalled its intention to adopt a flexible approach towards engagement with the breakaway regions.  The EU reconfirmed its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and its commitment to conflict resolution efforts in Georgia, including through its co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Talks and through the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia.

Both sides looked ahead to next year’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, and at the busy schedule of EU-Georgia engagement. Both sides welcomed the good progress being made in negotiations for an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The EU restated its commitment to political association and economic integration with Georgia, and to improved mobility for its citizens.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Email: nchristodoulides@mfa.gov.cy
Telefon: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Communications Officer
Charis Christodoulidou

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Email: cchristodoulidou@mfa.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22401165
Communications Officer
Katerina Yennari

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Email: kyennari@mfa.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22 651 233

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