On March 28, in the company of students, I will travel to Athens, an ancient capital of European civilization, followed by Brussels, Europe's political capital, to celebrate visa waiver for Georgia, a crucially important event, and to thank our partners, the Prime Minister of Georgia stated today before the Government meeting. Giorgi Kvirikashvili once again commented on the importance of visa-free travel for Georgian citizens in the EU/Schengen Area. According to him, three-day celebrations are also planned throughout the country.
"Visa-free travel to EU member states will come into force in a few days. On March 28, visa waiver for Georgian citizens traveling to EU/Schengen Area countries will be introduced. As you know, the EU has finalized all relevant legal procedures. Importantly, we will hold special events on March 26, 27, and 28, to celebrate this achievement throughout the country," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The European Commission (EC) reports that it has proposed to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens travelling to the Schengen area. According to the EC press service, the proposal comes after the Commission gave a positive assessment in December 2015, confirming that Georgia successfully met all benchmarks under the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.
“Today's proposal recognises the efforts of the Georgian authorities to carry out far-reaching and difficult reforms with a significant impact on the rule of law and the justice system. I am very satisfied with the progress achieved, and I hope that the European Parliament and the Council will adopt our proposal very soon," said Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos. Avramopoulos also added that visa-free travel for Georgian citizens to the EU will further facilitate people-to-people contacts and strengthen business, social and cultural ties between the two partners.
According to the EC, once the proposal has been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, Georgian citizens with biometric passports will no longer require visas when travelling for up to 90 days to the Schengen area. The visa-free travel will apply to all EU Member States except for Ireland and the UK, as well as the four Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The exemption concerns only short-stay visas valid for up to 90 days of travel in any 180-day period for business, tourist or family purposes. The visa exemption will not provide for the right to work in the EU.(EU Neighbourhood Info).