EU Dispels Association Agreement Myths
Author: By Joseph Alexander Smith
The EU delegation to Georgia has moved to dispel some common perceptions about the EU pact due to be signed this summer. The delegation, which represents the European Union’s External Action Service in Georgia, released an 11-page document on its website on April 14 which is aimed at “setting the facts straight” about 40 common but erroneous misperceptions of the Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA).
At a summit in Luxembourg on the same day, EU foreign ministers reiterated their support for accelerating the signature of the agreements by Georgia and Moldova in light of recent events in Ukraine, arguing that the agreements will have a “positive impact on stability and socio-economic development” in the two countries.
The principal concerns addressed by the EU delegation are fears that EU integration threatens traditional Georgian cultural values and the position of the Orthodox Church and will pave the way for gay marriage in Georgia. In March this year, PM Irakli Gharibashvili pre-emptively launched an initiative to constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, shortly before new anti-discrimination legislation, aimed at bringing Georgian law into line with EU standards, was voted through parliament.