24.Jun .2022 14:00

What Might Georgia Lose Without The EU Candidate Country Status?

What Might Georgia Lose Without The EU Candidate Country Status?
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Former Georgian Ambassador to Germany Elguja Khokrishvili talks about the benefits that Georgia might Georgia lose without the EU candidate country status. The diplomat explains that one of the most tangible tools that Georgia would have in the case of granting a candidate status is the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), which budget amounts to EUR 14 billion.

In addition, in case of receiving the candidate status, Georgia will have access to 11 EU programs, which will cover different areas.

“1. Candidate countries have access to the Pre-Accession Financial Instrument Funds (IPA III-2021-2027), which includes EUR 14 billion and 5 thematic areas:

- Strengthening institutional and administrative capacity (candidate and potential candidate)
- Cross-border cooperation (candidate and potential candidate)
- Development of rural and community settlements (candidate only)
- Development of regions (candidate only)
- Human resource development (candidate only).

2. The economic and investment program (2021-2027) provides mobilization of EUR 30 billion from international financial institutions (EIB, KfW, EBRD, WB, IMF, etc.) and the private sector (9 billion grant and 20 billion investments of financial investments), as well as investments in the following areas: transport, private sector development, human resources, etc.

3. Candidate countries will have access to all EU programs (today we have access to only a small part out of 11 programs, such as Erasmus +, Horizon 2020, Creative Europe).

4. Candidate countries will be able to use the so-called Funding from the EU Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) funds, amounting to EUR 19 billion for 2021-2027.

The use of this financial assistance will depend on the individual progress made by the candidate countries on the path to European integration.

Utilizing these opportunities will have an incredibly tangible impact on increasing the well-being and quality of life of every citizen of Georgia.

According to the World Bank, using these opportunities in the Western Balkans (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia were not considered for the status during the study period) can generate not only 6.7 percent economic growth, but also a large increase in foreign direct investment in these countries from EU member states.

The European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the country is the choice of the Georgian people and the constitutional obligation of the government to go towards it. Let us recognize the conditions presented by the European Commission and start fulfilling them immediately," writes Elguja Khokrishvili, Georgia's former ambassador to Germany.