From Europe to Europe—Georgia’s Visa Liberalization Path

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 15:06

From Europe to Europe-a path successfully covered by Georgia. From this day onward, Georgia's citizens will enjoy visa-free travel in the EU/Schengen Area. The first wave of passengers traveling visa-free to EU states was joined today by the Prime Minister of Georgia. To celebrate the enactment of visa waiver, on March 28, the Head of Georgian Government embarked on a symbolic trip to Athens, the capital of an ancient civilization, and Brussels, Europe's political capital.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, a holder of a Georgian biometric passport, has already passed the border control checkpoint at Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport. Ahead is a path to Europe in the company of Georgian students, scholars, media representatives, and members of the Government.
"This is a regular Georgian passport of a Georgian citizen that I will use to travel to Europe," the Prime Minister addressed the press at the Tbilisi International Airport, showing them his Georgian passport. Giorgi Kvirikashvili calls visa waiver for Georgian citizens a historic event.
"It is a historic day-visa-free travel in the EU/Schengen Area is finally open to Georgian citizens. It is a great achievement and a good opportunity for Georgians to enhance their knowledge about the EU, learn more about the values underpinning the EU. It is a great opportunity for our students to engage in different educational programs. Together with students, we are headed to Athens, an ancient cultural capital of Europe, where we will hold a meeting at the university and have a number of political meetings. In the afternoon, we will travel to Brussels, Europe's political capital, to celebrate this great achievement, which is a result of not only the consistent, intensive work of the Georgian Government, but also of the great engagement on the part of the Georgian citizens. I congratulate all of you on this historic holiday," the Prime Minister told the press.
For the most part, the Georgian delegation consists of students, the future generation, who have already taken their first successful steps in life. Special is the benefit offered to them by visa-free travel in the Schengen Area.
"It is my first time traveling to Europe, and I could've never imagined that it would coincide with this historic event, the coming into force of visa-free travel. I am excited to join the Prime Minister in this historic visit," Tbilisi State University student Tamar Mirianashvili says.
"I am happy to be part of this historic event. EU visa liberalization is equally important to those living across the dividing line, because they are part of our state. I believe that they, too, should use this opportunity, and I hope that it will be another precondition for our unification," Nika Markozashvili, a resident of the border village of Ditsi, says.
The Georgian delegation consists of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science Alexandre Jejelava, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Victor Dolidze, Chair of Parliamentary Committee for European Integration Tamar Khulordava, Chair of the Committee for Foreign Relations Sopio Katsarava, Rector of the Tbilisi State University Gia Sharvashidze, associate Professor Irina Darchia (Department of Classical Philology at the Institute for Modern Greek Studies), Archeologist Davit Lortkipanidze (Director General at the Georgian National Museum), Associate Professor Levan Gigineishvili, PhD in Philology (Ilia State University), author Zurab Karumidze, IDU (International Education Center) scholarship holders, Startup Georgia beneficiaries, successful new Greek studies and classical philology students of the Humanities Department at the Tbilisi State University, young people financed under the Produce in Georgia program, successful IDP students from Georgia's occupied territories, socially vulnerable students, and ethnic minority students.

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