Relations between the EU and Georgia are based on the EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was concluded in 1996 and entered into force in 1999. After an initial validity period of ten years, it is now automatically extended on a yearly basis. The Agreement provides for wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economics, democracy, human rights and irregular migration, as well as legislative and cultural cooperation.
In the period 2003-2004, the European Commission proposed a new foreign policy for the EU – the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) – in order to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. Another objective of this new EU policy was to strengthen the prosperity, stability and security of all concerned. The inclusion of Georgia in the ENP on 14 June 2004 marked a significant step forward in EU-Georgian relations.
As a next step, in spring 2009, the EU launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) to support political and socio-economic reforms in Georgia, as well as in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The EaP foresaw stronger political engagement with the EU, namely the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements and far-reaching integration with the EU economy. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton launched negotiations for an EU-Georgia Association Agreement in Batumi on 15 July 2010.
The EU and Georgia completed negotiations for the Association Agreement in July 2013 and initiated the Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Vilnius Summit of November 2013. The Association Agreement was signed at the end of June 2014, and enacted on 1 July 2016.
Additionally, on 6 September 2013, the Government of Georgia adopted the Strategy for Communication and Information on the Issues of European Integration 2014-2017. The Strategy aimed at public awareness raising with regard to the partnership between the EU and Georgia, including the benefits and obligations for both parties.
On 28 March 2017, visa-free movement to the EU/Schengen countries came into force, enabling Georgian citizens to travel to the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period.
In November 2017, Georgia and the EU adopted the Revised Association Agenda for the period 2017-2020. The revised document envisages deeper cooperation and approximation of Georgian and European norms and standards.