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.
We will do everything cooperation with British partners to be more strength. This statement was made by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia. According to Irakli Kobakhidze, the meeting with Friendship Group of Georgia was productive.
“The strategic partnership with UK is too important for us and we want this partnership to strengthen. The Parliament of Georgia do its best for it,”-Irakli Kobakhidze said.
Georgia: no tangible progress achieved in implementation of recommendations on transparency of political party funding, GRECO says
Today, the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) published a new report on how Georgia has been following up on its recommendations on ensuring transparency of party funding.
The initial set of recommendations was given to Georgia back in 2011. They concerned incriminations (criminalization of corruption offences) and transparency of political funding. In 2013 and in 2015 GRECO already issued reports about the compliance of Georgia with these recommendations, and concluded that all of its recommendations on criminalization of corruption has been satisfactorily implemented, but seven recommendations on political funding had been implemented only partially.
In the report published today, GRECO concludes that no tangible progress has been achieved by Georgia as regards the implementation of the outstanding recommendations on political party funding. The pending seven recommendations remain partly implemented.
Therefore, the third evaluation round focusing on incriminations and the transparency of party funding in Georgia continues. GRECO asked the Georgian authorities to submit the information about addressing the outstanding recommendations on party funding by the 30th of September 2017.
However, GRECO has already started the next evaluation round for Georgia that focuses on preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. A GRECO report evaluating the current situation in this field and providing a set of recommendations to Georgian authorities is to be published on 12 December 2016.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, on 1 December in Brussels. During the meeting, President Tusk praised the Georgian government for their democratic elections and ambitious reform programme, and also encouraged the Prime Minister to continue his close dialogue with opposing political parties and Georgian civil society. President Tusk also mentioned visa-free travel developments: “We are now working hard on the EU side – and I want to underline only on the EU side because this is now our internal problem – to make sure that the required visa suspension mechanism will be agreed as soon as possible. Georgia deserves for this process to be finalised in a timely and positive manner.” He expressed concerns about the recent ratification of the military agreement between Russia and the Georgian region of Abkhazia: “For the EU it is clear that this agreement violates international law, including the principle of the inviolability of Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognised borders. It has no legal status for the European Union.”
“We are committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia, including through our co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Discussions and the EU Monitoring Mission,” President Tusk concluded. “In short, the EU will remain firm in its support of the territorial integrity of Georgia.”
Pope Francis on Thursday greeted a delegation of faithful from the Apostolic Administration of the Caucuses who were in Rome to thank the Holy Father for his recent Apostolic Visit to Georgia. Pope Francis told the delegation their visit brought him many memories of his trip. “I never thought I would find in Georgia what I saw: The culture, spirituality, a people that praises Jesus Christ as the Savior, because it is a Christian population,” – the Pope said – “It was for me a great joy.”
He said he was also personally impressed by the person of Ilia II of Georgia, saying “I perceived there a man of God.” While acknowledging the problems faced by the small Catholic community, Pope Francis said he thought they would find a way “without forcing the issue, to slowly walk together.”
The Pope concluded by remarking on the different faithful he met, calling the responsibility of the laypeople “a great thing,” and thanking the priests and religious for their work. “Go forward!” – Pope Francis said – “This work is like yeast, to make the thing grow. Thank you very much! And do not forget to pray for me.”