Welcoming Speech at the International Parliamentary Conferenc Print Version

2017-12-04

Greetings
Ladies and gentlemen,
Chairman of the Parliament,
Honorary guest, Chairman of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajovic,
Members of European Parliament, friends of our country,
Members of the Government,
Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Mr. Janos Herman and Ambassador of the United Nations to Georgia Mr. Niels Scott.
It is my great honor to welcome the participants of this important conference. I am glad that Tbilisi is once again hosting this outstanding event that has brought together parliamentary delegations of 17 countries this year. I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for visiting Georgia. I would also like to thank the European Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and personally Ms. Tamar Khulordava, the Mission of the European Union in Georgia, the UNDP and those who spared no effort to organize today's conference.
Today's gathering is exceptional in the light of the fact that it unites the representatives of the parliamentary bodies of the member-states and the candidate countries of the EU as well as the Eastern Partnership countries, renowned experts and representatives of the civil society in a single working space. Such diversity provides for a unique opportunity for sharing an experience and cooperation as well as for discussing current problems and the ways of solving them, which is very important in the light of the common challenges facing the European Union and its neighborhood.
This year the European project celebrates 60th anniversary. The success of this unparalleled idea has brought peace, stability and prosperity to the European continent and has inspired neighboring states to contribute to this common effort. The fundamental principles of the European Union today are as topical as ever, particularly for us - partner states of the EU, whose unity and strength concerns us as much as it does the EU member states.
Each of us, through joint efforts, aim at preserving united, resilient Europe that will be ready to open its doors to Georgia and other European countries given the appropriate conditions.
The power of transformation and the value-based foreign policy of the European Union has become a cornerstone for Georgian reforms and modernization, inseparable part of our internal and foreign politics that aim at building democratic, established European state.
Georgia has reasonable grounds for believing that it stands as one of the examples of the success of European integration. I am convinced that the success achieved on this path as well as the future plans will be discussed in a more detailed manner today and tomorrow in this room.
Bilateral as well as the multilateral formats are crucial on the path of the European integration. Fifth Eastern Partnership Summit was recently held in Brussels and successful Georgian reforms and its democratic consolidation was unilaterally noted and support for Georgia's European aspirations and its EU integration process was expressed. Furthermore, alongside with other members of the Eastern Partnership, we have outlined 20 new goals of approximating with the EU by 2020; respective goals are fully in line with the comprehensive reform agenda of our Government.
Georgia values the new possibilities of deepening cooperation with its partners and we will try to fully utilize them to further reinforce democratic institutions of our country; to improve the governance system; ensure better living standards for our citizens through harmonization with the EU legislation; to improve infrastructure and support the intensification of the people-to-people contacts.
Implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement as well as further approximation to the European Union is the top priority of our Government. Throughout the said period we managed to reinforce the democratic, transparent and accountable institutions that are based on the rule of law and we are ready to work on establishing the European standards even more actively.
At the same time, Georgia contributes to building a peaceful world by participating in the peacekeeping missions of the European Union. In this context, the common security challenges in the neighborhood of the European Union are noteworthy - coping with such problems is possible only through common efforts.
As you know, the security related situation in the occupied territories is still grave and at the same time, the rights of our citizens are massively breached. In addition, Georgia also has to cope with the modern global challenges, including hybrid threats and propaganda. We can confront such challenges only by consolidation and engagement of the international community.
I am glad to see such a high-level parliamentary audience in this room. Pursuant to the constitutional reform, starting from 2024, Georgia will fully move to the parliamentary model, according to which parliament will be elected through proportional system. In terms of implementation of the reforms and success of the country's integration with the European Union, cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the government is very important. I believe that reinforcement of the parliamentary branch of the government will further accelerate this process.
Parliament is the best platform for holding discussions and talks on conflicting opinions. I hope that today's conference will enable you to exchange your experience acquired on the path of the European integration, as well as the advices and recommendations that will accelerate the reforms and achieving common goals.
In the light of existing problems, we often forget the uniqueness of the European Union. Notwithstanding anything, it still is the best example of the regional integration and international cooperation.
This is exactly why, notwithstanding internal and external challenges, Georgia firmly pursues the path of the European integration. I hope that through such discussions and exchange of opinions, via engaging legislative and executive branches of various countries as well as by active participation of the civil sector, we will reach a common goal and create strong, united and peaceful Europe.
Thank you very much for your attention.
I would like to thank our friends for visiting Georgia.
I would also like to wish you successful conference, and wish our guests to enjoy Tbilisi throughout these two days.
Thank you!