Georgia’s path to Europe
May 27, 2024

Georgia’s path to Europe

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a passenger on a bus crammed with people, tearing down a narrow road, devoid of signs indicating danger or safety? Few would willingly embark on such a journey. Yet we in Georgia found ourselves in precisely this situation and emerged victoriously. There was a time when the nation of Sakartvelo (Georgia) crossed such tumultuous paths, and yet it managed to endure. Since 1992, as we journeyed along this dark road, our path began to be illuminated by signs, offering clarity on our direction. These signs took the form of the European Union, pointing towards our possible  future and casting light on the darkest stretches of our journey.

Over the past 32 years, our nation has forged a robust and dynamic relationship with the European Union, a journey marked by the continual presence of European ideals and cooperation. From the inception of initiatives like the Association Agreement in 2014 to the ongoing strides made in visa liberalisation since 2017, and culminating in the historic achievement of candidacy status granted on 15 December 2023, our ties with the EU have deepened and flourished.

Central to this journey of integration and collaboration has been the invaluable contribution of initiatives such as the Young European Ambassadors (YEAs). Launched in 2016 across the Eastern Partnership but also extending to EU member states, the YEAs’ initiative has served as a beacon of inspiration for youth, igniting their passion and engagement in shaping our shared European destiny.

Through its tireless efforts, the YEAs’ initiative has not only raised awareness among young minds about the transformative potential of European cooperation, but has also empowered them to actively participate in the process of building a stronger, more united Europe. As we reflect on our shared history with the EU and look towards a future of continued partnership and progress, let us recognise and celebrate the instrumental role played by initiatives like the YEAs in nurturing a generation of European leaders and visionaries.

Much like a driving instructor imparting knowledge of road signs before one obtains a driver’s licence, the YEAs’ initiative has striven to educate young people about their potential and the path towards change. Almost every day, our dedication has been unwavering, as we endeavour to demonstrate that being Georgian inherently means being European. I, too, once stood in their shoes, ignorant of the possibilities but driven by a deep-seated desire to contribute meaningfully to a nation deserving of a peaceful existence.

There is one of my favourite quotes that says: “Not all of us can do great things, however, we all can do little things with great love. This act would indeed be just a drop in the ocean, but if it was about missing, the ocean would lack something.” Embracing the spirit of unity and collaboration, let us magnify our efforts and recognise that while not all of us may achieve monumental feats, each of us holds the power to enact positive change through small yet meaningful actions fuelled by love and dedication. Just as a single drop contributes to the vastness of the ocean, our collective endeavours, no matter how modest they may seem, enrich the fabric of society. Let us extend this ethos not only within our beloved European Union but also by reaching out to the beautiful nation of Georgia and empowering our youth, for it is in fostering this mindset that we can collectively uplift communities and enrich the world with compassion and purpose.

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