The trilateral negotiations on visa liberalization issue of Georgia will be discussed today, between EU Council, EU Parliament and EU Commission in Brussels. This information was published yesterday, by the Foreign Affairs Minister of Slovakia Miroslav Lajčák.
“Within the frames of trilateral meetings, we will meet in European Parliament at December, 13. We are waiting that COREPER will discuss this issue on December, 20,”-he said.
The Council prolonged the mandate of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, EUMM Georgia until 14 December 2018. It also allocated a budget of €18 million for the period from 15 December 2016 to 14 December 2017.
The EUMM contributes to stabilisation, normalisation and confidence building between the conflict parties after the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. The mission provides civilian monitoring of parties' actions, including full compliance with the EU-brokered Six-Point Agreement and subsequent implementing measures throughout Georgia. It also informs European policy in support of a durable political solution for Georgia.
The main tasks of the civilian mission EUMM Georgia are the following:
- Stabilisation: monitoring the situation of the stabilisation process and on freedom of movement and actions by spoilers, as well as on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The mission operates a 'hotline' to deal with incidents;
- Normalisation: monitoring the normalisation process between the conflict parties and how people are affected;
- Confidence building: contributing to the reduction of tensions through liaison, facilitation of contacts between parties and joint projects;
- Contributing to informing European policy regarding the conflict.
Although the situation in the country is relatively stable, EUMM's contribution remains key. EUMM has successfully launched a number of small confidence building projects under its new facility and will increase those. It has also seen an important positive development with the resumption of the incident prevention and response mechanism in Gali.
The mission is headquartered in Tbilisi and has three field offices in Gori, in Mtskheta and in Zugdidi. The mission started on 1 October 2008. It is currently headed by Kęstutis Jankauskas and has 200 EU monitors working for the mission.
The European Union continues to fully support Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. The EU actively supports conflict resolution efforts through the work of EUMM but also the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus (EUSR) and his co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Discussions to which EUMM participates.
PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA BRINGS CONDOLENCES TO THE TURKISH NATION:
I wish to express most extreme concerns about the terrorist attack occurring in Istanbul, which killed dozens of people. Let me bring deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims, people and authorities of Turkey.
I categorically condemn any and all forms of violence, which victimize human lives and are aimed at threatening people. We stand by the countries, which have announced a ruthless fight against terrorism. We join their undertakings and believe that we can combat brutalities only through shared efforts.
European Investment Bank (EIB) will allocate 450 million Euros to Georgia for the development of road infrastructure, agriculture as a sector and production in agriculture at large. It was noted at the meeting of Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB with H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia today.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, funding from EIB is of particular significance inter alia for the spatial planning and large infrastructure projects being the key directions of the Four Point Plan of the Government of Georgia (GOG).
Vice President of EIB focused on the great importance of the funding and noted that it will advance the living standards in the country and boost the competitiveness of Georgia.
Discussions were also related to investment projects, currently implemented in the country with EIB support. In the opinion of the Prime Minister of Georgia, presence of the Regional Office of EIB is highly commendable in the country, as it promotes investments and mutual cooperation.
Financing Agreements on the allocation of resources by EIB to Georgia were signed after the meeting. Signatories were Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB and H.E. Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia.
EIB will thus allocate 250 million Euros for the construction of new roads and rehabilitation of the existing priority routs; 100 million Euros will be disbursed for the rehabilitation and upgrade of municipal infrastructure and another 100 million Euros - for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in agriculture and food production under the referred concessional long-term lending.
The President of Georgia: "The Main Obstacle Concerning the Visa Liberalization Process Has Been Overcome"Friday, 09 December 2016 11:55
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has evaluated the ongoing Visa liberalization process of Georgia and stated that even though the suspension mechanism was not entirely related to Georgia, it was the main obstacle delaying the process of obtaining Visa free travel right.
“Currently, as a result of Georgia’s efforts and active involvement of our partner countries, this obstacle has been overcome. After overcoming this obstacle, practically, no other difficulties exist delaying this process. We assume that the decision will be made in the nearest future”, - stated the President.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Culture AbulfasGarayev. It was pointed out at the meeting that, along with Georgia-Azerbaijan strategic partnership, the countries share strong cultural ties, which are growing stronger.
Special attention was paid to the topics to be discussed as part of the far-reaching Culture and Creativity for Innovation and Development Forum, which is underway in Tbilisi under the aegis of the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and the European Union. These topics include the role of education and new technology in the development of cultural and creative industries, initiatives related to local and regional policy development, and others. At the meeting, the trend of growing numbers of tourists was also commended.
“Agreement on visa suspension mechanism big success for @EPPGroup. Visa-free travel for Georgia & Ukraine now possible. Europe is delivering,”-this statement was made by the German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Bavariawith the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, part of the European People's Party.
According to Manfred Weber, visa free regime will be possible for Ukrainians and Georgians after the visa suspension mechanism success.
It is once more confirmed that European Institutes support Georgia. Despite the difficult period they made an agreement,-This statement was made by the Foreign Minister of Georgia.
Mikheil Janelidze thanked to all who has been working on this issue with Georgia and Ukraine.
“We are too close with our goals. We are waiting for good results for our citizens and the people living in the occupied territories of Georgia,”-Mikheil Janelidze said.
The EU has agreed to grant visa-free travel to 50 million Ukrainians and Georgians. Officials said the deal had been struck on Thursday to end an internal EU dispute that had been holding up the promised measures. Late-night talks involving EU member states and the European Parliament had reached a compromise on the terms of a mechanism which can be used to suspend the visa-free schemes in emergencies.
The European Commission and the bloc's 28 members will be able to reimpose visa requirements more quickly and more easily under a compromise deal under fears over immigration and terrorism. The deal on visa suspension must still be formally approved by the member states and the European Parliament.
The deal struck between the European Parliament and the member states "will facilitate the immediate consideration of the two visa liberalisation proposals for Georgia and Ukraine," MEP Agustin Diaz de Mera said. Under the deal, visa requirements may be reintroduced if there is a surge of citizens from a non-EU country such as Ukraine or Georgia staying irregularly in EU territory.
They can also be reintroduced if there is a rise in unfounded asylum applications, or a lack of cooperation on returning migrants, or if nationals are deemed to pose a security threat.
"This agreement is balanced, and is extremely important for both the effectiveness and credibility of the union's visa liberalisation policy," Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said.
"The current suspension mechanism is not adequate and will now be improved," following the deal, said Mr Kalinak, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.
"The fact that we have reached an agreement should open the door to further progress on visa liberalisation talks with other countries that meet all the necessary requirements," he added.he two former Soviet republics are seeking to move further away from their former master Moscow and closer to the West. However, they have grown frustrated that the EU was failing to deliver.
After last year's refugee crisis, EU governments had grown nervous of the popular reaction led by anti-immigration parties against a move to make visits easier for 45 million Ukrainians, as well as 5 million Georgians.
Allowing them to travel into Europe's Schengen zone without applying in advance for visas was an important incentive for people there to accept hard reforms from the governments in Kiev and Tbilisi as they sought closer relations with the EU.
Earlier this week, the head of the European Council said the EU was putting its credibility and reputation at risk by letting internal political wrangling stall the promised easing of visa requirements.
In a letter sent to European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Tuesday and seen by Reuters, Donald Tusk urged the legislature to compromise with national governments to unblock visa liberalisation.
"At stake here are the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the nations who are our neighbours, as well as the reputation of the European Union, which has categorically and repeatedly committed itself to the issue," the former Polish premier wrote.
"Even though all the parties in this debate have their own good arguments and undoubtedly good will, it seems we are getting close to squandering our joint efforts," he added, saying failure to deliver would be "an unforgivable mistake".
Main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for Georgia and Ukraine is the lack of agreement-Donald TuskWednesday, 07 December 2016 11:15
The governing institutions of the European Union and the Member States bear a serious political responsibility and should not lose the trust of Ukraine and Georgia regarding the speedy granting of visa-free regime to these countries.
This is stated in a letter of European Council President Donald Tusk to President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, available to an Ukrinform correspondent in Brussels.
"We have made demands on our partners, who have paid a heavy price in carrying out painful reforms and even have been subjected to great political risk. They accepted these challenges, with a strong belief that the EU will be able to fulfill its own promises. Therefore, I want to reiterate that we may lose not only the social, political and economic interests, and not only the future of our relations with our neighbors, but, also and especially, trust," Tusk commented on the inadmissibility of delay in EU’s decision-making process regarding granting Ukraine and Georgia visa-free regime.
In his letter, the President of the European Council noted that the main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for these two countries is the lack of agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.