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The EU accession process with Georgia has been “de facto” suspended.

The EU accession process with Georgia has been “de facto” suspended.

The EU heads of state and government explained that the government in Tbilisi, through its law against “foreign influence” in particular, “threatens Georgia’s path to the European Union and causes de facto accession negotiations to stall.”

Due to the government’s policy, Georgia’s EU accession process will not continue until further notice, according to the EU heads of state and government. In a summit declaration adopted on Thursday evening, they expressed “serious concerns” about the course of the government in Tbilisi. With its law against “foreign influence” in particular, the Tbilisi government is putting “Georgia’s path to the EU” at risk and is effectively halting accession negotiations.

Georgia only achieved EU candidate status in December. Since then, the government has issued a series of laws considered incompatible with European values. Brussels considers the law against “foreign influence”, which was passed in June despite mass protests, a gag on media and organizations critical of the government. The model is a Russian law against “foreign agents”.

Orban sees Georgia on 'right path'

The 27 Heads of State and Government explained that the Georgian government's actions amounted to a “step backwards” with regard to the requirements of the EU Commission in the accession process. The European Council calls on the Georgian authorities to take a clear pro-European position.

The summit declaration was adopted unanimously. However, opinions differ when assessing the situation in Georgia. “The Georgian government is doing a good job. The economy is improving,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said before the summit. “So I think they are on the right track.” (APA/AFP)

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