EU and Georgia
Georgia: Next Steps on the Road to the European Union

Interview with Thomas Hacker
Georgia EU Next Step Thomas Hacker Interview 2
© FNF South Caucasus

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Despite changes in government, the vast majority of Georgia's citizens have long seen the country's future in the European Union. European values have been deeply embedded in Georgian society and culture for centuries. However, in June 2022, there was great disappointment when Georgia was not granted EU candidate status, unlike Ukraine and Moldova.

The panel discussion, titled "Georgia: Next Steps on the Road to the European Union," was held on May 4 at the Writers' House in Tbilisi. It was organized within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Plus project, which is funded by the German Foreign Office and organized by the Center for Liberal Modernity in cooperation with all four German political foundations working in Georgia.

The panel discussion aimed to address several important questions related to Georgia's path towards EU integration and the contradiction between public opinion and government action. The panel members included representatives from the EU Committee of the German Bundestag, the Georgian ruling party and opposition, and civil society. Thomas Hacker, a member of the German Bundestag from the liberal Free Democrats Party, after being denied a visit to imprisoned Nika Gvaramia, the head of "Mtavari" TV channel, commented on the importance of media freedom and free society in an interview with FNF South Caucasus.

The panel discussions focused on the prospects and challenges of EU enlargement from both a German and European perspective, given Russia's war of aggression and the turning point in Germany. Additionally, they addressed the challenges faced by Georgia on its path to the EU and how the EU and Germany can support and accompany Georgia on its journey.