Thousands rally in Georgia in support of EU membership bid | European Union News

Demonstration in Tbilisi comes days after the European Fee really useful deferring Georgia’s candidacy.

Hundreds of individuals in Tbilisi have turned out to reveal for a more in-depth relationship with the European Union, days after the European Fee really useful deferring Georgia’s candidacy.

Waving Georgian, Ukrainian, and EU flags, an estimated 60,000 demonstrators gathered outdoors the Georgian parliament for the “March for Europe” on Monday.

Many held placards that learn “We’re Europe” because the EU anthem, the Ode to Pleasure, was carried out on the demonstration.

Nodar Rukhadze, one of many organisers of the march, mentioned that the aim of the demonstration was to ship a message “that the residents of Georgia have made a European selection and are able to defend this selection.”

On June 17, the European Fee really useful that the European Council grant candidate standing to Ukraine and Moldova, however mentioned it should “come again (by the tip of 2022) and assess how Georgia meets the variety of situations earlier than granting its candidate standing”.

The Fee additionally really useful granting Georgia “the European perspective,” one thing its chief Ursula von der Leyen referred to as a “big step ahead” on Georgia’s path in the direction of membership.

“The door is huge open,” she mentioned, including: “The earlier you ship, the earlier there can be progress.”

The rally was initiated by the Black Sea nation’s main pro-democracy teams and supported by the entire opposition events to “reveal the dedication of the Georgian individuals to its European selection and Western values”.

“Europe is a historic selection and an aspiration of Georgians, for which all generations have given sacrifices,” the rally organisers mentioned on Fb.

Forward of the rally, Georgian President Salome Zurabichvili, mentioned in a televised handle: “We should mobilise on this historic day for our nation. Our message is that we wish a European Georgia.”

Georgia, which borders Russia within the north, utilized to affix the EU shortly after Moscow launched its assault on its neighbour in February, as did Ukraine and Moldova.

The 27 EU member states will focus on the functions of the three states on Thursday and Friday.

Relations between Georgia and Russia have been strained because the 2008 Caucasus conflict, when Moscow recognised the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as impartial states and stationed hundreds of its troopers in these areas.

Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova have signed affiliation agreements with the EU designed to deliver them nearer collectively economically and politically.

The agreements additionally embody free commerce offers between the nations and the EU in addition to visa-free journey for its nationals for a brief keep within the Schengen space.

However they offer no assure of eventual membership.

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