"Time for visa liberalization for Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo,"-Johannes Hans

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 16:00

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hans hopes that Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo will receive visa liberalization in 2016 year. This statement was made by him in the interview with Radio Liberty.
“This is a time for political decisions, but Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo had done all the terms,”-Hans said. As he said, the Western countries should make joint decision for these three countries. 

Read 685 times

Related items

  • Joint press release following the 6th Association council meeting between the European Union and Georgia

    The European Union and Georgia held the 6th meeting of the Association council on 16 March 2021. The Association council took note of the 2021 Association Implementation Report on Georgia and assessed the state of EU-Georgia relations since the last Association council in March 2019.

    The Association council welcomed Georgia's progress on its European path, including in the challenging COVID-19 context, and recognised the efforts of the Georgian Government to contain the virus as well as to ensure targeted social assistance to those in need. Both sides acknowledged the crucial importance of the EU rapid assistance to Georgia in the fight against COVID as a vivid sign of solidarity.

    Both sides reaffirmed their continued commitment to bringing tangible benefits to the lives of Georgian citizens across key areas of cooperation: economic development and market opportunities; strengthening institutions and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; enhancing mobility and people-to-people contacts.

    The Association council noted that the elections of 31 October and 21 November 2020 were competitive and that, overall, fundamental freedoms were respected. The Association council agreed on the importance of addressing all recommendations related to the shortcomings identified by international observers, including OSCE/ODIHR, through ambitious and inclusive electoral reform in order to strengthen the electoral environment and render it more favourable for the democratic conduct of elections.

    The Association council strongly regretted the deepening political polarisation in Georgia. The EU called for a swift resolution to the ongoing political situation, for all parties to step up efforts to de-escalate the situation and come together to identify and agree on common ground. The Association council agreed that it was vital for all actors to continue working, in the EU-supported mediation, to find an early resolution to Georgia's political crisis.

    The Association council reiterated its call on all political actors to work together and to maintain open dialogue in Georgia, including with civil society, in order to further strengthen democratic institutions, consolidate pluralistic democracy and advance reforms. Both sides stressed the need to continue the successful cooperation between the EU and Georgia on strategic communication and countering disinformation.

    The Association council recalled that a great number of Georgian citizens have benefited from short term visa free travel to Schengen countries in recent years. It welcomed the continuous efforts of Georgia to address violations of the visa-free travel requirements, including the latest legislative amendments to the Law of Georgia on ‘Rules for Georgian citizens on Leaving and Entering Georgia' and underlined the importance of its effective implementation. The Association council underlined the critical importance of sustained efforts by Georgia to continue to fulfil the visa liberalisation benchmarks, in particular in order to strengthen and maintain the recent decrease in the number of unfounded asylum applications lodged by Georgian nationals in the Schengen + area. The EU encouraged Georgia to further enhance cooperation with EU Member States to counter irregular migration and organised crime. Both sides welcomed a renewed working arrangement signed between Georgia and Frontex, as well as Georgia's acquisition of observer status in the European Migration Network.

    The Association council welcomed progress made in the implementation of Georgia's Human Rights Strategy and its Action Plan, as well as the important work of the Human Rights Protection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The EU recognised Georgia's efforts in this area and encouraged Georgia to continue efforts to effectively implement the anti-discrimination law and to ensure protection for all persons belonging to minorities, and to ensure gender equality. The Council recalled the commitment to the universality of human rights for all, regardless of religion or belief, race, ethnic origin, sex, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability or other. The Association council welcomed substantial progress made by Georgia to create an effective labour inspection system, in order to further improve working conditions and address the challenges in this area in line with international and European labour standards. It also discussed the importance of continuing efforts in this direction.

    Both sides welcomed the progress made by Georgia in the implementation of the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The EU continued to be the most important trading partner of Georgia. The EU and Georgia agreed to identify further products with export potential to the EU, for which EU can provide assistance. Both sides welcomed successful implementation of structural reforms and underlined the importance of ongoing reforms related to the improvement of the investment climate in Georgia. The Association council welcomed the ongoing work to draft a new SME Development Strategy 2021-2025 and the EU side confirmed its readiness to support its implementation.

    The Association council welcomed the disbursements of Macro-Financial Assistance to Georgia in November 2020 and urged Georgia to continue the implementation of outstanding agreed policy measures in order to enable the disbursement of the second instalment of COVID Macro-Financial Assistance to Georgia (of which 75 million EUR was disbursed in 2020). The EU encouraged Georgia to ensure the sustainability of already implemented reforms and maintain macro-economic stability.

    The Association council reiterated Georgia's strategic role in the field of energy, transport and connectivity and increasingly as a transportation and logistics hub in the region. The EU committed to continue engaging closely with Georgia on the connectivity agenda, including through the gradual completion of the indicative core Trans-European networks of Transport (TEN-T), as a step towards enhancing connectivity and international trade between Europe and Asia. The sides also highlighted the importance of Black Sea connectivity. The EU took note of Georgia's request for support in the elaboration and implementation of a plan for better Black Sea connectivity.

    The Association council reiterated Georgia's key role as a partner for European energy security and stressed the country's transit role for Caspian hydrocarbon resources to reach European markets, notably via the Southern Gas Corridor and through the Black Sea, with a view to strengthening EU-Georgia interconnections. The EU stressed its continued commitment to further supporting the roll-out of energy efficiency standards in public buildings, based on legislative reforms in key areas. The EU reiterated its continuous support to reinvigorating Georgia's agriculture and rural sector to improve living conditions in rural areas. The Association council noted the importance of enhanced cooperation in the area of civil protection.

    The EU recognised Georgia as a key partner in the region and acknowledged the importance of EU-Georgia cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy. The Association council recalled the issues discussed during the third EU-Georgia Strategic Security Dialogue in October 2019 and looked forward to the next meeting in this format. The EU expressed appreciation for Georgia's continued contribution to EU-led crisis management operations and missions in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Mali, as well as openness to supporting the strengthening of Georgia's capacities and resilience.

    The EU reiterated its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. The EU reiterated its firm commitment to peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia by using all instruments at its disposal including the policy of non-recognition and engagement. The work of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia and of the EU Monitoring Mission demonstrate this strong commitment.

    The Association council took note of the judgement of 21 January 2021 of the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber in the inter-State case concerning the armed conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008 and its consequences which concluded that after the 12 August 2008 the Russian Federation, "exercising effective control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia", violated several provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights.

    The Association council stressed the critical importance of the Geneva International Discussions for addressing and resolving the challenges stemming from the conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. It also reiterated that full and effective Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) are essential for addressing the safety and humanitarian needs of conflict-affected population on the ground. In this regard, the Council welcomed the resumption of Ergneti IPRM meetings and emphasised the crucial importance of resuming the Gali IPRM.

    The Council expressed concern about signing a so-called programme on the creation of a common socio-economic space between Russia and Georgian region of Abkhazia as well as other steps further undermining Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, deterioration of the security and human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, especially with regard to intensified military build-up, installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers along the dividing lines, long-term closure of "crossing points". Concerns also include the situation with ethnic discrimination of Georgians, restriction of freedom of movement, including for health care and access to other social services, arbitrary detentions, violation of property rights and education in mother tongue, the persistent obstacles to the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin, and deprivation of life of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria. In this regard, the Association council reiterated that justice should be applied.

    The Association council reiterated the obligation for the Russian Federation to fulfil its international obligations including under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, notably to withdraw its military forces from the territory of Georgia and remove all impediments for establishment of international security mechanisms therein. The Association council further urged the Russian Federation to provide EUMM access to the whole territory of Georgia, in line with its mandate. The Association council also called for access for international humanitarian and human rights mechanisms of relevant international organisations.

    The Association council stressed the importance of ongoing support to people-to-people contacts and confidence building measures across the divides. In this respect, the Association council recalled its support for the Georgian peace initiative « A Step to a Better Future».

    The EU commended Georgia's active participation in the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership and underlined that continued reform efforts in the partner countries are key to the success of the Eastern Partnership and to the EaP Summit scheduled for later this year.

    The Association council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Garibashvili led the Georgian delegation.

    Press Service of the Government Administration

  • Visas: Council adopts regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians
    On 27 February 2017, the Council adopted a regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela stated that, "This agreement will bring the people of Georgia and the EU closer together and will strengthen tourism and business ties. It follows the completion of the necessary reforms by Georgia, addressing document security, border management, migration and asylum. In addition, the recent adaptation of the suspension mechanism has made this agreement possible." The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The text will then be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days later, at the same time as the new visa waiver suspension mechanism. The regulation formally amends regulation 539/2001, moving Georgia from Annex I (countries whose nationals need a visa to enter the Schengen area) to Annex II (visa free countries). Georgian citizens with a biometric passport travelling to the EU for up to 90 days for business, tourist or family purposes will no longer need a visa. These measures will not apply to Ireland and the United Kingdom, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. The visa regime of these member states remains subject to their national legislation.
  • Georgia visa waiver approved by Parliament

    Georgian citizens will be able to enter the Schengen area without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by Parliament on Thursday.


    The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the Council and will only enter into force once the visa suspension mechanism, which allows the temporary reintroduction of visas in the event of migration surges or risks to public security, is in place.

    Parliament´s rapporteur for the proposal, Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG), acknowledged the “broad and complex reforms” carried out by Georgia in order to get the visa waiver and thanked the country's authorities and citizens for their consistency and patience. She also congratulated them on the strength of their democratic conviction and noted that the visa exemption brings the country closer to the EU.

    Under the visa exemption, endorsed in plenary by 553 votes to 66, with 28 abstentions, Georgians who hold a biometric passport will have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work.

    Tbilisi has complied with all the benchmarks of its visa liberalisation plan, the text notes, underlining that “continuous fulfilment by Georgia of such criteria, especially on the fight against organised crime, will be duly monitored by the Commission”.

    The visa waivers apply to the Schengen area, which includes 22 EU member states (all except Ireland, the UK, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    Next steps

    The legal change transferring Georgia from the list of countries whose nationals need a visa to enter the EU (the “negative” list) to the list of countries exempted from this requirement (the “positive” list) will have now to be approved by the Council of Ministers. Following its formal signature, the text will be published in the EU Official Journal.

    The visa waiver for Georgia will enter into force on the same date as the revised visa suspension mechanism, approved by Parliament on 15 December but still pending finalisation of the official translation of the legal texts.

  • Mikheil Janelidze has met the Foreign Minister of France
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, during a meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, underlined the work Georgia has done in the process of visa liberalization process, which deserves to be completed successfully and in due time. Jean-Marc Ayrault congratulated Mikheil Janelidze on the achievement of Agreement between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on the visa suspension mechanism and expressed the hope that procedures necessary for granting Georgia visa free travel will be completed in due time.
    Mikheil Janelidze thanked his French colleague for the personal support of this process and once again underlined the importance of visa liberalisation for Georgia that will promote Georgia’s rapprochement with the EU, strengthening the people-to-people dialogue and enhancing business ties and that will be yet another evidence of the EU successful policy in the region.   
    Jean-Marc Ayrault congratulated Mikheil Janelidze on the democratic conduction of elections and underlined the country’s significant progress in carrying out reforms and democratic development.
     The two Ministers welcomed the decision to open a permanent representation of the French Development Agency in Tbilisi in January 2017 that will promote the development of co-operation between the two countries in different spheres, including, sharing France’s experience in the spheres of tourism, infrastructure and sectoral development. Speaking about bilateral relations, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Mikheil Janelidze focused on successful co-operation in the spheres of defence and security.  
    Talking points also included the current security environment in the region and the recent development in Georgia’s occupied territories. By the end of the meeting, Mikheil Janelidze invited Jean-Marc Ayrault to pay an official visit to Georgia and welcomed the decision of France and Germany to hold the regional ambassadorial meeting of the two countries in Tbilisi.  
  • Ukraine one step closer to visa liberalisation
    The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed, on behalf of the Council, a negotiating position on visa liberalisation for Ukraine on 17 November. It confirmed the Commission proposal to provide visa-free travel for EU citizens to the territory of Ukraine and for Ukrainians when travelling to the EU, for a stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.
    The Council takes the view that the entry into force of visa liberalisation for Ukraine should take place at the same time as the entry into force of the new suspension mechanism. The mechanism was strengthened in the context of the current migratory situation in the EU, and makes it easier for EU member states to notify of circumstances which might lead to a suspension of visa-free travel.
    On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament.
    Visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the EU. Other entry conditions for accessing the Schengen area will continue to apply, including the need to prove sufficient financial means and the purpose of the journey. 

Business News

Georgian Lari Drops in Value against US Dollar

Georgian Lari Drops in Value against US Dollar

Georgian National Currency decreased by 0.0011 GELs against US Dollar. The official exchange rate to...

ENPARD: Czech farmers shares experience with Georgian colleagues

ENPARD: Czech farmers shares experience with Georgian colleagues

Members of eight Georgian cooperatives who have received ENPARD grants have visited the Czech Republ...

Flooding in Tbilisi caused damage of 100 million GEL

Flooding in Tbilisi caused damage of 100 million GEL

According to Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, the damage caused by the Tbilisi flood m...

Georgian Lari drops in Value against USD

Georgian Lari drops in Value against USD

According to official exchange rate, Geogrian National Currency slightly depreciated against dollar,...

MOST READ

« April 2021 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 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 30    

About

The News Agency,
NEWSDAY.GE is
a part of STARVISION
Media Group.
It made its first
appearance on the Internet..More

 

Contact

NEWSDAY Ltd.
Lechkhumi street.43

Georgia,Tbilisi

Phone: (+995 32) 257 91 11
E-mail: avtandil@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Social Media