Philip Dimitrov: “Stop telling us that you may fail”
03 July, 2014
 Philip Dimitrov: “Stop telling us that you may fail”
After four years of negotiations and 22 years of cooperation, Georgia took the first very important step – on 27 June, together with Ukraine and Moldova, we signed the Association Agreement with European Union.
Georgian Journal was privileged to have an exclusive interview with Philip Dimitrov, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.

G.J: Georgia signed AA and DCFTA. Local and foreign politicians and diplomats say that this is a first and the very important step towards
full EU membership. Do you share their enthusiasm?

P. D: The AA is a historical step for Georgia. It is a recognition that you have indeed gone a long way forward. This a new generation agreement that gives Georgia a lot more than the Association agreements did years ago. But as you know, whether when and how you can join the EU is not mentioned in it.

G.J: There are countries, most notably, Turkey (1963), which signed the AA, but never managed to become member states. Do you think that could happen in Georgia’s case as well due to circumstances that are not dependent on us, i.e. the factor of Russia?

P.D: I think that you must search not for status but for sensible results. What if we don’t make it? I am sure you can make it. And the obstacles put on your way should only strengthen your determination. So, stop telling us that you may fail.

G.J: A lot of work is ahead to raise the awareness of public. As our Speaker of the Parliament put it on 27 June, “Europe is not an earthly heaven, nothing will change overnight and we should disperse these illusions”. What levers do you see – how can we provide the society with the correct image of the EU, free from myths and stereotypes?

P.D: Of course, being in Europe is not like being in Heaven. First of all, that would require dying and we wouldn’t want that now, would we? On a serious note though, people usually are not easily satisfied. In 2003, Georgia was in very bad shape, both economically and socially. What Georgia has achieved in ten years is amazing and admirable. Reforms per se don’t make people happy. Because of the reforms you have done, are and will be doing, doors are now opening for you. You have to step in – with your efforts and industriousness. But we know by experience – once these doors are open, the quality of life in every such country starts to increase conspicuously.

G.J: There were a lot of success stories during the rule of Saakashvili as well as problems. You have been Ambassador here for almost four years and also have impressions from much earlier time. As a foreign diplomat, what do you think were the weakest points of the Saakashvili’s rule? What are the strongest and weakest points of the present government and what about its achievements and maybe, drawbacks?

P.D: Reforms are a painful thing. We raise monuments to individual heroes but in fact people have to endure a lot in the effort to make a country better for their children. I am not here to make a beauty contest or give marks to students. I congratulate PM Gharibashvili and all his team for this historical Georgian achievement. And naturally I congratulate President Saakashvili, and all his team whose role for making this day possible is beyond any doubt. But above all I congratulate the Georgian people who do not buy cheap threats or temptations and understand that the European way – with all its bumps and problems - is their own way.

G.J: In case if Russia imposes sanctions towards us – be it economic blockade or, in the worst case, the military aggression - what levers does EU have to help Georgia?

P.D: The only new thing I can say is the quotation of President van Rompuy who said that now you will see the European Union standing by your side more than ever.

G.J: Almost all the member countries have first of all entered NATO and then the EU. Are these two processes so strongly interlinked and does it also mean that we too will first have to enter NATO and then the EU?

P.D: I do believe that these processes are linked but not necessarily in such a rigid fashion. The important thing is not to give up on them. When and how your goals will be achieved is another matter.

G.J: Nevertheless, there are countries which are skeptically disposed towards Georgia. What does Georgia lack in order to convince everybody that we are really Europeans?

P.D: Stop trying to convince the world that all your achievements were a lie – this might help.

Other Stories
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Former US diplomat Matthew Bryza discusses Georgia, NATO membership and Trump’s presidency with GJ
How can we explain the statement made by the former Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen about the possibility for Georgia to join NATO?
NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Madeleine Moon visits Khurvaleti village
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon has arrived in the village of Didi Khurvaleti, in the Gori municipality, located near the Administrative Boundary Line.
“Georgia could soon be ready for regulations”
“With big money you can either build or destroy something”, says Vano Vashakmadze. The consultant for development in tourism helped to work out the new zone planning implemented by the government.
Mamuka Khazaradze establishes Lelo movement
The public movement of TBC Bank's founder Mamuka Khazaradze will be called Lelo.
TBC Bank founder Mamuka Khazaradze to establish social movement in Anaklia
The presentation of the social movement of the founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze will be held tomorrow, September 12, in Anaklia. The event begins at 12:00.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen offers Georgia a way to join NATO
Georgia should start an internal discussion of whether it would be acceptable to join NATO without Abkhazia and South Ossetia, - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secreatry General of North-Atlantic Teaty Organisation, said.
“These protests are different”
«In Georgia protesting is almost a tradition», says the historian Simon Janashia who works at the American School in Tbilisi. But the current demonstrations are profoundly different.
Kelly Degnan nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia
President Donald Trump has submitted the nomination of Kelly Degnan to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia.
Development of the Anaklia deep sea port should be in the interest of every Georgian, says Kurt Volker
Importance of the Anaklia deep sea port is huge for Georgia and the Georgians have heard about it from many politicians inside or outside of the country.
Clashes and whistling in the Georgian Parliament after nomination of new PM
Clashes took place at the entrances to the Parliament building today, as protesters held the "Shame on You" event.
“Georgian Dream” Party introduced Georgy Gakharia as Prime Minister
“Georgian Dream” party has introduced Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia to the post of Prime Minister.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned. Bakhtadze released the relevant statement on the social network.
There will be no war with Georgia, says De-facto official
Georgia's provocative actions at the "borders of South Ossetia" are just an attempt by the Georgian authorities to divert their population's attention from acute domestic problems
After the summer Tbilisi is expecting another hot season
Every evening in June and July hundreds of protesters came to the parliament to demonstrate.
Why so called South Ossetian delegation gave ultimatum to the Georgian side?
Representatives of de-facto regime of the Tskhinvali region gave ultimatum to the Georgian side to abolish the Georgian police block post near Tsnelisi until 6:00am, August 30th.
Former Russian Duma member sees theoretical chance of solution the Abkhazia problem
Former member of the Russian Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, believes that there is a theoretical chance of resolving the problem of occupied Abkhazia
Georgian president calls Brexit new opportunity (Watch video)
Georgians feel that they are Europeans. It is not something they are striving for. They are European, President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili said in her interview with Euronews.
So called elections in Abkhazia go into second round
The “Presidential elections” in Abkhazia do not bring a clear leader. Nor are they recognized by a variety of states, among them the US, the UK, Ukraine and Latvia.
Representatives of diplomatic corps arrive in Gugutiantkari
Representatives of the diplomatic corps and the Government of Georgia are in the outskirts of the Gugutiantkari village of Gori municipality,
US State Department condemns Russian occupation of Georgia’s territories
The US state department has issued a statement condemning Russian occupation of Georgian territories – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
What went wrong in the 2008 August War? – Mikheil Saakashvili recalls
Today Georgia marks 11 years since the 2008 August War. After 11 years, there still are many unanswered questions.
After 11 years, Georgia commemorates the August War
It has been 11 years since the 2008 August War in Georgia. Officials and different politicians once again commemorated the date and made statements about the ongoing occupation of Georgia’s territories by Russia.
International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center publishes fresh survey
A new nationwide public opinion survey of Georgian citizens by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research
First comments made after Strasbourg Court’s decision over Rustavi 2
Rustavi 2 TV shareholder Kibar Khalvashi made first comment about the Strasbourg Court’s decision over Rustavi 2.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
September 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29