European Commission’s Analytical Reports on Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia’s Alignment with the EU Acquis

European Commission’s Analytical Reports on Ukraine, Moldova,

and Georgia’s Alignment with the EU Acquis

On February 2, 2022, the European Commission published analytical reports on the alignment of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with the chapters of the EU legislation (acquis), which caused different interpretation in Georgia. The purpose of this blog is not a detailed analysis of the alignment of these countries with EU legislation, but we will briefly review what documents have been published and in what areas the EU has actually assessed the results achieved.

The reports provide a detailed analysis on where the countries stand with regard to their alignment with the EU acquis, the EU’s body of common rights and obligations. The reports complement the Opinions on the three countries’ applications for EU membership adopted by the European Commission in June 2022. The European Council granted a European perspective for the three countries and candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, in line with the Opinions which specify a number of priorities to be addressed in this context. In the reports, the Commission evaluated the level of approximation of the EU acquis on the basis of the replies to the questionnaires from the three applicant countries, as well as relevant information obtained in the framework of the intensive dialogues carried out over many years under the Association Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (AA/DCFTA), to assess their implementation. All three applicants were assessed on the basis of the same criteria and their own merits.[1]

On the same day, the ruling party of Georgia “Georgian Dream” responded to the publication of the reports of the European Commission and the chairman of the party said:

  • With the evaluation document, the European Commission itself confirmed what we have been asserting since June of last year: it is clear from the report that Georgia deserved the candidate status by all parameters;
  • Georgia is significantly ahead of Moldova by 12 points and ahead of Ukraine in almost all key parameters;
  • Considering all this, how fair was the political decision made by the EU structures last year, it is left for the public to judge;
  • Last year, the radical opposition, related NGOs and media outlets used the decision of the European structures to try to confuse the situation and deepen polarization in the country. Based on this decision, the wealthiest NGOs even demanded the resignation of the government;
  • The evaluation document of the European Commission makes it clear that under the conditions of decision-making based on objective criteria, Georgia should definitely receive the status of a candidate for EU membership this year.[2]

First of all, we should remember how the European Union evaluates the progress of countries in the direction of European integration. In order to receive the EU candidate status, Georgia must meet the Copenhagen criteria:

  • Political criteria – stability of public institutions (parliament, government, public administration, judicial system, anti-corruption policy), which ensure democracy, human rights, rule of law and protection-respect of minorities.
  • Economic criteria – existence of a stable market economy in the country, willingness to join the Eurozone and the ability to cope with the competitive economic pressure of the European Union.
  • Institutional criteria – the ability and commitment of the country to effectively implement the rules, standards and policies defined by the EU legislation.[3]

Analytical reports[4]  published by the European Union on February 2, 2022 concerned the alignment of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with each chapter of the EU acquis. Simply put, in this case, the European Union assesses Georgia’s alignment with European standards in various fields. The assessment is done in great detail under 35 chapters[5] and these chapters are:

1) Free Movement of Goods
2) Free Movement of Workers
3) Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services
4) Free Movement of Capital
5) Public Procurement
6) Company Law
7) Intellectual Property Law
8) Competition Policy
9) Financial Services
10) Information Society and Media
11) Agriculture and Rural Development
12) Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy
13) Fisheries
14) Transport Policy
15) Energy
16) Taxation
17) Economic and Monetary Policy
18) Statistics
19) Social Policy and Employment
20) Enterprise and Industrial Policy
21) Trans-European Networks
22) Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments
23) Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
24) Justice, Freedom and Security
25) Science and Research
26) Education and Culture
27) Environment
28) Customer and Health Protection
29) Customs Union
30) External Relations
31) Foreign, Security and Defence Policy
32) Financial Control
33) Financial and Budgetary Provisions
34) Institutions
35) Other Issues

According to the analytical reports published by the European Commission, it can be said that Georgia has slightly more progress than Ukraine and Moldova. For example, out of the 35 chapters of the legislation, in the most 12 chapters (Chapters 5, 32, 2, 6, 9, 16, 19, 27, 11, 13, 22, 33) Moldova has an assessment of “early stage of preparation ” followed by Ukraine in 8 chapters (Chapters 32, 2, 7, 19, 27, 11, 13, 33) and Georgia is in the last place with respect to 6 chapters (chapters 2, 8, 27, 11, 22, 33). Also from these chapters, “some level of preparation” has been assigned in 17 chapters to Georgia (chapters 24, 5, 18, 32, 1, 7, 9, 28, 10, 16, 19, 14, 15, 21, 12, 13) and Moldova (Chapters 24, 18, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 28, 10, 17, 20, 26, 29, 14, 15, 21, 12), and Ukraine in 15 chapters (Chapters 24, 5, 18 , 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 28, 16, 20, 26, 14, 21, 22). Another assessment, the “moderately prepared” has Georgia in 9 chapters (chapters 3, 4, 17, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31), followed by Ukraine in 5 chapters (chapters 1, 10, 17, 25 , 12), and Moldova in 3 chapters (chapters 25, 30, 31). Finally, “a good level preparation” is assessed only for Ukraine in 4 chapters (chapters 29, 15, 30, 31). Georgia and Moldova do not have such an assessment. This is the assessment of the European Commission on the alignment of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with each chapter of the EU legislation (acquis).[6]

In the statement of the ruling party of Georgia, it is mentioned that the European Commission has confirmed what the Georgian Dream has been claiming since June of last year, that Georgia deserved the candidate status by all parameters. Actually, on June 16, 2022, the European Commission did not assess Georgia’s compliance with each chapter of the EU legislation (acquis). In June last year, the opinion of the European Commission regarding Georgia’s application for EU membership was published, although it was entirely related to the assessment of Georgia’s compliance with the political criteria mentioned above, and the European Commission developed the well-known 12 recommendations regarding Georgia. [7]  What did these recommendations include?

The commission recommended that Georgia be granted candidate status after it meets the following priority issues:

  • address the issue of political polarisation, through ensuring cooperation across political parties in the spirit of the April 19 agreement;
  • guarantee the full functioning of all state institutions, strengthening their independent and effective accountability as well as their democratic oversight functions; further improve the electoral framework, addressing all shortcomings identified by OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe/Venice Commission in these processes.
  • adopt and implement a transparent and effective judicial reform strategy and action plan post-2021 based on a broad, inclusive and cross-party consultation process; ensure a judiciary that is fully and truly independent, accountable and impartial along the entire judicial institutional chain, also to safeguard the separation of powers; notably ensure the proper functioning and integrity of all judicial and prosecutorial institutions, in particular the Supreme Court and address any shortcomings identified including the nomination of judges at all levels and of the Prosecutor-General; undertake a thorough reform of the High Council of Justice and appoint the High Council’s remaining members. All these measures need to be fully in line with European standards and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
  • strengthen the independence of its Anti-Corruption Agency bringing together all key anti- corruption functions, in particular to rigorously address high-level corruption cases; equip the new Special Investigative Service and Personal Data Protection Service with resources commensurate to their mandates and ensure their institutional independence;
  • implement the commitment to “de-oligarchisation” by eliminating the excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political, and public life;
  • strengthen the fight against organised crime based on detailed threat assessments, notably by ensuring rigorous investigations, prosecutions and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions; guarantee accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies.
  • undertake stronger efforts to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment, notably by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards, and by launching impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against safety of journalists and other media professionals;
  • move swiftly to strengthen the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, including by bringing perpetrators and instigators of violence to justice more effectively;
  • notably consolidate efforts to enhance gender equality and fight violence against women
  • ensure the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes at all levels;
  • adopt legislation so that Georgian courts proactively take into account European Court of Human Rights judgments in their deliberations;
  • ensure that an independent person is given preference in the process of nominating a new Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and that this process is conducted in a transparent manner; ensure the Office’s effective institutional independence.[8]

Thus, based on the recommendations of the European Commission of June 16, 2022, on June 23-24, the European Council made a decision regarding the EU membership applications of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. The Council recognized the European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and noted that the future of these countries and their citizens lies in the European Union, although it granted candidate status only to Ukraine and Moldova. The European Council emphasized the importance of the implementation of reforms by the countries in order to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria[9], and for this purpose developed recommendations for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. [10]

The Georgian society remembers well that from the very beginning, the decision of the European Commission towards Georgia was criticized by the Georgian authorities.[11] However, later, the ruling party of Georgia slightly changed its position[12] and submitted a plan to implement the 12-point recommendations of the European Union.[13] The ruling party also created working groups for the implementation of the recommendations,[14] and the work of these groups was entirely related to the 12 recommendations of the European Commission regarding the implementation of the Copenhagen political criteria. Unlike Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia could not get the candidate status because of the problems in the political criteria, and not because of the issues that the Georgian government is talking about after the publication of the analytical reports of the Euromission.

Thus, it is clear that documents published on February 2 by the European Commission is an assessment of other areas of European integration, and the issues of last year’s 12 recommendations, which were about democracy, the rule of law, de-oligarchization and other important issues, are not discussed in these reports. The European Union has not assessed how much Georgia has fulfilled the recommendations that prevented it from receiving candidate status last year. In Georgia, experts think that the country’s government has not fully implemented these recommendations[15]

Nevertheless, the government’s position that Georgia deserved the candidate status last year too, 12 points ahead of Ukraine and Moldova, the radical opposition, ENGOs, the media used it to confuse the country, etc., is a targeted manipulation and distortion of facts to avoid the political responsibility of the government on non-fulfilment of reforms in the direction of political criteria.

As for Georgia’s alignment with each chapter of EU legislation (acquis), it is well known that Georgia has been ahead of Ukraine and Moldova in many areas over the years, and this is the result of reforms implemented years ago. The analytical reports published by the European Commission are not related to the progress of Georgia in terms of political criteria. We should remember that last year Georgia did not get the candidate status due to the problems defined in 12 recommendations, and the country has not fulfilled this yet. The European Commission will later publish a report on Georgia’s implementation of 12 recommendations, political criteria, from which we will see what progress the country has made in this direction.

The European Union should grant Georgia the candidate status, but only after the implementation of the recommendations, and the country should also show the political will to be loyal to the principles of the European Union and a reliable partner of the Union.


Malkhaz Nakashidze,

Professor of Faculty of Law and Social Sciences,

Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University

Jean Monnet Chair

Batumi, February 9, 2023

[1] European Commission publishes analytical reports on Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia’s alignment with the EU acquis, Brussels, Press Information Team and Delegation to Georgia, 02.02.2023, <> accessed 8.02.2023

[2] Statement of the Georgian Dream, February 2, 2023, Tbilisi, Georgia<> accessed 8.02.2023

[3] Accession criteria European Commission – Enlargement – Accession criteria, European Commission, <>  accessed 08.02.2023

[4] European Commission publishes analytical reports on Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia’s alignment with the EU acquis, Press release2 February 2023Brussels, <> accessed 08.02.2023

[5] Chapters of the acquis, European Commission, <…/chapte…> accessed 08.02.2023

[6] European Commission publishes analytical reports on Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia’s alignment with the EU acquis, Press release2 February 2023Brussels, <> accessed 08.02.2023

[7] Opinion on Georgia’s application for membership of the European Union, European Commission, June 16, 2022 < union_en#details> accessed 08.02.2023

[8] Opinion on Georgia’s application for membership of the European Union, European Commission, June 16, 2022 <> accessed 8.02.2023

[9] European Council meeting (23 and 24 June 2022) – Conclusions, Brussels, 24 June 2022 (OR. en) EUCO 24/22  <> accessed 8.02.2022

[10] Opinion on Ukraine’s application for membership of the European Union, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, 16 June 2022 <> accessed 8.02.2023

[11] GD Chair Sees Connection Between Joining War, EU Candidacy 06/07/2022 <>  accessed 8.02.2023

[12] Irakli Kobakhidze’s statement, Georgian Dream, July 1, 2022<>  ბოლო ნახვა 08.02.2023

[13] “Georgian Dream” submitted a plan to implement the 12-point recommendation of the EU, BMG, July 01, 2022, <> accessed 8.02.2023

[14] Working groups of the Parliament of Georgia, Legal Affairs Committee,<>  accessed 8.02.2023

[15] Candidate status meter – state of fulfillment of 12 conditions of the European Union, Georgian Reforms Association” (GRASS), Tbilisi, 15.01.2023 <> accessed 8.02.2023