Georgia: tens of thousands of demonstrators march to demand the country’s membership of the European Union

The Member States of the European Union must decide whether they offer Georgia a “prospect” of accessing the status of candidate for integration, at the end of the European summit on June 23 and 24.

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A strong signal. Tens of thousands of people marched through the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, to demand that the country become a candidate for membership of the European Union on Monday 20 June.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the Georgian Parliament during a “march for Europe”, at the call of several pro-European organizations and all the opposition parties. The objective of the organizations was to “to prove the commitment of the Georgian people to their European choice and to Western values”.

On June 17, the European Commission recommended that EU states offer Georgia the “perspective” future integration into the Union, a status which has no legal value. But even before being able to officially take the path to membership, Brussels has recalled that the country should carry out numerous political, judicial, electoral and economic reforms. The Member States must decide at the end of the European summit on June 23 and 24.

The ruling Georgian Dream Party has said “happy” to have a “concrete roadmap”but judged “regrettable” that the Commission does not support candidate status at this time. One of the organizers of the march, human rights activist Shota Digmelashvili, said another rally was planned for Friday. He also announced the launch of a “new popular movement” which will include opposition parties but will be dominated by civil activists.

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