Georgian Civil Society Organizations' Open Letter

2016 / 06 / 23

On June, 23, 2016 Georgian civil society organizations addressed to the North Atlantic Council and NATO Secretary General through the open letter. 

The open letter reflects a joint vision of Georgia-NATO integration strategy and the importance of Georgia's clear roadmap towards NATO membership to be agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit. More than 70 non-governmental organizations signed the letter.

"Returning Georgia to the European family of nations is a historic mission for our generation. Completing Georgia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic Institutions, including NATO, is an essential part of this process. 

Since its very beginning, the Euro-Atlantic integration process played a critical role in steering Georgia toward a modern, democratic and secure society. It provided powerful incentives for developing state institutions, advancing democracy, and transforming the national security system. 

Georgia still has much more work to do in building a modern, democratic, and prosperous state. It still faces challenges, both internal and external. During the last decade, Georgian citizens proved their dedication to the democratic transformation and modernization of the country. Their continuous support to Georgia’s substantial participation in NATO-led peace operations ensured country’s transformation into a significant contributor to international security. The idea of Georgia’s NATO membership also enjoys overwhelming support in Georgian population.

We believe that our country’s membership in NATO will positively affect the process of Georgian statecraft, as well as contribute to security and stability in the wider region. It will also strengthen peace and encourage democratic transformation, empower democratic forces on much broader scale, and thus, advance the interests of the entire Transatlantic community. 

A comprehensive strategic vision for the future of Europe and consistency in its implementation would strengthen European security, encourage sustainable economic and democratic development, and ultimately lead towards Europe whole, free and at peace. Georgia’s accession to NATO will advance the process of achieving this great vision.

Russian revisionism, conversely, has a radically different goal. It challenges solidarity among European nations and targets the fundamental values that define European identity. Safeguarding these values, national sovereignty and the freedom of all European countries to choose their own security arrangements is the only way to avoid backsliding to Europe devoid of solidarity and divided into spheres of influence. 

In 2008, NATO made a strategic, visionary decision that Georgia will become a NATO member. In the face of the new threats and challenges to European security, the Warsaw Summit is the key milestone to demonstrate to NATO supporters and adversaries alike the steadfast dedication of Allies’ to implement the decisions previously adopted. Recent developments have clearly shown that any delay in pursuing the strategic goals of the Alliance is interpreted by Russia as a weakness. This, in turn, invites further aggressive and revisionist behavior that Russia has been demonstrating in Georgia and Ukraine since 2008.

We truly believe that what Georgia needs now is a clear roadmap towards NATO membership agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit. This would serve Euro-Atlantic security interests and further advance the principles on which the Alliance was founded. 

We also hope that decisions taken in Warsaw will support concrete measures aimed at deterring Russian aggression and reinforcing Georgia’s security. 

We anticipate that Warsaw Summit decisions will create a stronger and more holistic structure for NATO-Georgia political and military cooperation, fully utilizing existing mechanisms, incorporating real substance, and ensuring the commitment and engagement of all allies in strengthening Georgian democracy, its institutional reforms, sovereignty and territorial integrity." -it is said in the letter.

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