Within the frames of visit in Brussels the Official Delegation of Georgian Patriarchate held a meeting with MEPs. According to Andres Mamikins, one of the MEPs, this visit was too important and progressive.
“The visit is too interesting. We have relations with the all part of Georgian Society and I know that Orthodox Church is important for Georgian People. It has an influence on an opinion of society,”-he said.
Belgium and Holland Bishop Dosiethos said that the Georgian and European values are the same values.
In Brussels, EP considered the report on implementation of the action plan for 2015 on EUAA. The representatives of the executive government delivered the reports on implemented works and the reforms in various spheres. EC and EP representatives spoke about the progress by Georgia in EUAA implementation and issued recommendations.
MEPs underlined importance of timely decision on visa liberalization.
The Chair of Foreign Relations Committee, Tedo Japaridze delivered the resuming speech.“Adopting EU’s Aquis is strenuous work. For the Visa Liberalization process – that has come to fruition – the Parliament had to introduce 60 amendments and ratify 7 international conventions. I am assured by friends that joined the EU in 2004 that only the first 25 years are difficult; then you get used to it. Apparently 70-80% of legislative work in EU member states is accommodation to an ever evolving acquis. All engagements are hard work. And that is a good thing. Europe, like any stable relationship, involves partners that grow together so that they do not grow apart. We are beyond benchmarking”.
He emphasized the drafts submitted to EP – changes to the Regulation #539/2001, envisaging the short-term visa free regime for Georgian citizens to Schengen zone.
“Visa Liberalization is from that perspective the most meaningful and tangible statement of a “return to Europe” since our independence, because it is an experience of Association, the equivalent of a moment in a relationship one knows has gone beyond nonsense and hears the words, “I do.” That is important now. Let’s build on the Commission’s assessment, and proceed on the basis of an individual, merit-based approach, to complete the process by the plenary session of the European Parliament in 6-9 June 2016. We need the good news and the East Partnership does as well”.
At the meeting with the members of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani addressed the attending audience, focusing on implementation of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), as well as on the reforms carried out by the Government of Georgia.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Tea Tsulukiani informed the MEPs on the completion of works provided for by the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and on the progress Georgia has achieved in this regard. The two Ministers once again underlined the importance of the positive political decision about the visa free regime with the European Union for the citizens of Georgia and for the process of the country’ European integration.
Talking points also included the current security environment in Georgia and the region as a whole. The MEPs once again condemned Russia’s activities in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region that violate Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Georgian side thanked the MEPs for unequivocal support of Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration that has been more than once reflected at the resolutions adopted by the European Parliament.
Discussions also focused on the current situation in Georgia and on the need to create pluralistic political environment in the pre-election period. The Georgian side reaffirmed its adherence to the principles of freedom of media and rule of law, and expressed its readiness to conduct maximally transparent processes. The Ministers also expressed the readiness to co-operate with the European Parliament and called on the MEPs to take active part in the pre-election monitoring as well as in the monitoring of the process of completing obligations under the Association Agreement.
The participants of the meeting honoured with a moment of silence the memory of people, who died during the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Prior to delivering the speech at the Committee, the Georgian Foreign Minister held a meeting with Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok.
Parliament on Tuesday backed a set of one-off measures aimed at boosting the effective spending of €35 billion earmarked for Greece in the EU 2014-2020 budget. This includes €20 billion from the European structural and investment funds and €15 billion from agricultural funds.
French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will make a historic joint appearance in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 7 October. They will speak on topical European issues and will have a debate with political group leaders. It is the first joint address of French and German leaders since November 1989, when President François Mitterrand and Chancellor Helmut Kohl debated the end of the Cold War with MEPs. Follow our coverage live on Wednesday from 15.00 CET.
The plenary debate
Hollande and Merkel will address the plenary one after the other. Their speeches will be followed by reactions from a representative of each political group. Then the president and the chancellor will address the plenary again to answer MEPs and to conclude their speeches.
Finding common answers to challenges
The worsening crisis in Syria has led to a sharp increase in refugees in recent months. Some EU countries are now struggling to cope, while others are wary of taking in ever increasing numbers of refugees. The Greek debt crisis and the way EU countries coordinate their economic policies also remain important issues.
A delegation of the European Parliament’s International Trade and Legal Affairs committees, consisting of 11 MEPs, is in Ukraine for a two-day visit to see how the country is preparing the implementation of the free trade agreement with the EU and conducting promised judicial reforms.
During the visit, MEPs will meet with Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) members responsible for Foreign Affairs, European Integration, legal and economic policies as well as with leaders of political factions, government representatives and civil society organizations, representing the respective areas of competence of the trade and legal affairs committees.
Discussions will focus on important topics like the impact of the EU Trade Preferences on Ukrainian exports, use of the funds from EU macro-financial assistance, judicial reform process, and cooperation in the field of private international law.
EP calls for release of all illegally detained Ukrainian Citizens and all Political Prisoners in AzerbaijanMonday, 14 September 2015 17:59
Russia must release Estonian Eston Kohver, and Ukrainians Oleg Sentsov, Nadiya Savchenko and Olexandr Kolchenko, MEPs said in a resolution passed yesterday.
In addition, the document calls for the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens and all political prisoners in Azerbaijan, and expresses “deep concern” about the human rights and fundamental freedoms situation in Belarus, despite signs of improvement.
The resolution reiterated that Parliament "strongly condemns the blatant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Estonia through the illegal kidnapping of citizens of both countries so that they could be charged before a Russian court".
With regard to Azerbaijan, MEPs urge the government immediately ends its crackdown on civil society and human rights work.
MEPs also noted recent signs of improvement in the EU-Belarus relations, adding they remained"deeply concerned" about the human rights and fundamental freedoms situation in Belarus.
The European Parliament yesterday called for a fresh EU approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EU must fulfil its responsibilities as an influential player and take a bold and comprehensive peace initiative for the region, MEPs said, regretting the lack of a comprehensive and coherent vision of the EU's engagement in the Middle East Peace Process, despite its ambitions there.
Addressing Parliament during the plenary meeting, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini argued that the EU could aim for measures to empower Palestinians, strengthen security and address Israel's concerns.
Ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip, its urgent reconstruction and rehabilitation following the 2014 summer war must be a humanitarian priority for the EU and the international community, MEPs said.
They also call for the EU Border Assistance Mission EUBAM Rafah to be reactivated "with a more ambitious mandate and adequate means" to "play a concrete role in the control of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel."