The EU-Georgia Association Agreement entered into force in July 2016 and strives for political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia. The EU and Georgia have also entered into a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), while Georgian citizens have benefitted from visa-free travel to the Schengen area since 28 March 2017. The EU is Georgia's largest trading partner and provides over €100 million to Georgia annually in technical and financial assistance.

Political relations

Guided by their common values, the EU supports peace and stability in Georgia, as well as programmes of political and economic reform to enable social and economic development

In June 2014, the EU and Georgia signed an Association Agreement (AA), which entered into force on 1 July 2016. This, along with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreement, builds a foundation for far-reaching Georgian political and economic integration with the EU. The ambition for Georgia includes ever-increasing democracy and rule of law, human rights, good governance and economic development. The AA institutional framework establishes bodies such as the Association Council to oversee its application, with the Association Agenda defining priorities necessary for its implementation.

The AA is itself an outcome of the EU's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), an important part of the EU’s foreign policy, of which Georgia is one of 16 partner countries. It enhances the prosperity, stability and security of an enlarged EU and its neighbours. The launch of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) in 2009, which includes Georgia, extended cooperation and further highlighted the importance of the region. As well as bolstering reforms, the EaP works towards greater mobility of citizens and stronger collaboration in a number of sectors, such as transport, energy and the environment.

Additionally, the EU remains firmly committed to its policy of supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders as well as engagement with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in support of longer-term conflict resolution. Since 2008, an EU Monitoring Mission has operated in the vicinity of the administrative boundary lines.

Economic and Trade Relations

Georgia has seen solid economic growth over the last few years, made possible partly due to ongoing economic reforms, which have included overhauling tax collection procedures, fighting against corruption, opening up the country to foreign trade and investment, improving infrastructure and simplifying the business environment

The EU supports Georgia in developing its economic potential through international cooperation. This includes assistance in alignment with EU legislative standards.

On 27 June 2014, the EU and Georgia signed the Association Agreement (AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The DCFTA has an ambitious objective of integration with the EU’s internal market, therefore is considered as the unique free trade agreement. As the main pillar of the AA, it contributes to the modernization and diversification of the economy in Georgia.

The provisional application of the DCFTA started on 1 September 2014. Meanwhile, Georgia benefited from the Generalised System of Preferences for a number of years and, on 1 January 2017, the country graduated from the program.

Trade between the EU and Georgia has been growing steadily over the years and today the EU is Georgia’s main trading partner. The DCFTA deepens Georgia's economic ties with the EU and includes provisions on public procurement, common customs’ rules, along with technical and sanitary standards for goods such as food items, intellectual property rights and competition rules.

The EU is also committed to supporting the Georgian Government in strengthening its export competitiveness, for example, through the setting-up of Quality Management Systems and Quality Infrastructure Systems to assure standards are met.

New Trade Portal and Current trade figures

Since October 2020, the European Commission has launched the new Access2Markets online portal for trade information. Merging the two previous info portals, the Market Access Database and the Trade Helpdesk, the new web portal comes as a single access point for practical information for import and export (e. g. how to export goods to over 120 countries outside the EU, how to import goods from any country in the world, trade within the EU, the benefits of the EU's trade agreements with over 70 countries; product-specific information, such as tariffs, national taxes, rules of origin, customs procedures, import formalities and product requirements, trade barriers and trade flows).

Current trade figures

The EU countries are still the main trade partner of Georgia: The share of the top trading partners in total exports from January – April 2021 for Georgia are EU countries (17,7%), China (16,6%), Russia (13,3%), Azerbaijan (12,7%) and Turkey (8,7%, for all National Statistics Office of Georgia, GEOSTAT).

EU27 trade with Georgia (ranked 74th) accounts for a share of 0.1% worth € 2.350 billion in 2020 (EUROSTAT).

EU exports to Georgia amounted to € 1.587 billion in 2020. The key export products are mainly non-agricultural products such as products of the chemical or allied industries, machinery and appliances and mineral products.

The key EU imports from Georgia include mainly industrial products such as mineral products. Additionally, agricultural products (esp. vegetable products), foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco, textiles and textile articles and products of the chemical or allied industries. The EU imported goods to the value of € 763 million from Georgia in 2020 (all EUROSTAT).

Sustainable development and green economy

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. The EU promotes the approach of the European Green Deal of a fair transition towards sustainable, resource-efficient and climate neutral economies and energy systems

The EU is a climate leader with the objective of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. In Georgia, the EU supports efforts to tackle and adapt to climate change, through the EU4Climate project and financing numerous infrastructure investments contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions.

The EU also promotes and accelerates the global transition of the energy sector. To this end, the EU supports Georgian efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment, through investing in energy efficiency rehabilitation of hundreds of public buildings.

Biodiversity is essential for life, providing us with food, health and medicine, materials, recreation, and wellbeing. In this area, the EU supports Georgia in the development of protected areas and in the protection of water resources through the development of water sanitation infrastructure and the provision of equipment to monitor quality and flows.

The EU has been working to improve natural resource management and towards a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy for many years. In Georgia, the EU supports improved waste management, policy development like the Extended Producer Responsibility, a sustainable packing industry through cluster development, etc.  

The transition towards sustainable food systems is a key component of the green transition, ensuring social, environmental and economic sustainability. The EU supports Georgia’s work in this field under the ENPARD programme(s).

Energy, Environment, Climate change

Cooperation between the European Union and Georgia in the field of energy, environment and climate change

The EU is supporting Georgia with expertise to bring environmental legislation closer to EU standards and is also directly supporting the development of natural parks, improvement of air quality, unlocking opportunities for greener growth, improving waste management and water infrastructure, and setting mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts. The EU is funding numerous infrastructure projects in the sectors of Water Supply and Sanitation, Waste management and eco-friendly transports. This common work together also directly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting Climate change.

In the energy sector, the EU is working on alignment with key EU energy legislation, development of energy infrastructure and connectivity, and promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The EU is supporting infrastructure projects like the rehabilitation of Enguri and Vardnili hydropower plants and the strengthening of electricity transmission lines to provide secure and reliable electricity for all. The EU is investing in energy efficiency rehabilitation of hundreds of public buildings, this helps reducing energy bills, contributes to environmental protection and helps to create better conditions for building users.

Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law

Human Rights are at the core of EU values as well as in EU-GE relations. In Georgia, the EU supports the positive development of human rights practices, democracy and rule of law

The Association Agreement concluded in 2016, and the Association Agenda 2021-2027 guides EU-Georgia cooperation on human rights and democracy.

While a culture of human rights still has to take firm root throughout the country, there has been significant progress in the field of human rights and democracy. Important electoral and judicial reforms have taken place, which has created a more solid legal basis for the democratic consolidation of the country, although important challenges remain in both areas.

EU support to human rights, democracy and rule of law is particularly directed towards transparency and inclusiveness of the electoral process, independence and impartiality of the judiciary, gender equality and LGBTI rights, rights of persons belonging to minorities, rights of persons with disabilities and labour rights.