European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hans hopes that Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo will receive visa liberalization in 2016 year. This statement was made by him in the interview with Radio Liberty.
“This is a time for political decisions, but Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo had done all the terms,”-Hans said. As he said, the Western countries should make joint decision for these three countries.
According to NDI research, the majority of respondents support visa liberalization process of Georgia. According to report, 84% of respondents are informed about visa liberalization process, 72% of them support it.
About the question: what should be the foreign policy of Georgia, 14% of respondents say that it should be pro-western, 52% believes that Georgia should have normal relationship with Russia too. 5% thinks that we should have pro-Russian foreign policy, according to 16% of respondents, it should be pro-Russian but Georgia should have good relation with EU and NATO. 11% of respondents didn’t have the answer on this question.
EPP President Joseph Dolly Visited Georgia. Dolly arrived in Tbilisi yesterday. He talked to media.
“I’m glad to be here. I arrived here because I have always thought that Georgia is the country which has the right and obligation to be the member of European Union. Also I came here to support the National Movement party. I know that a lot of things had written about my interview about visa liberalization. You, the journalists are doing your job and that’s because I love you. I support media freedom. Our party had done a lot of things to had deeper cooperation with EU. I am very honest person. The decision about visa liberalization had already made but a lot of things should be done for implementing the process successful: the EU Council must make a decision, the European Parliament should vote.
I'd be the first to support the idea, if possible, to allow for visa liberalization, but I do not want to lost hopes. In my experience, I know that the people who are waiting for something, sometimes they became disappointed. People should prepare for any decision,”- said the President of the European People's Party.
“I can’t point a specific date of visa liberalization,”-the EU Ambassador to Georgia, Janos Herman said today. According to him, EU Commission presented relevant legislative proposal to EU Parliament and EU Council, which means that the new phase had begun.
“You know that EU Commission published the report on December, 18 which states that Georgia had done all the tricks in the framework of the visa liberalization Action Plan. After that EU Commission presented relevant legislative proposal to EU Parliament and EU Council, which means that the new phase had begun. Everything depends on the EU Council and Parliament now,”-Janos Herman said.
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).
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo visits Tbilisi on 28-29 February 2016.
The first meeting was held with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze.
The two sides discussed a wide range of issues relating to bilateral co-operation between Georgia and Spain. Mikheil Janelidze assessed this visit as a strong support of the Spanish Government for Georgia.
Mikheil Janelidze welcomed the political decision of Spain to open the embassy in Georgia; the first steps have already been taken in this regard and the Charge d'Affaires was sent to Tbilisi.
The Georgian Foreign Minister positively assessed the close partner relations between Georgia and Spain in the political, trade-economic, infrastructural, agricultural, cultural, educational and other spheres; underlined the need to make maximum use of economic co-operation potential, which means the Spanish business communities’ increased interest in Georgia and greater volume of Spanish investments in the country; and focused on the development of co-operation in the spheres of infrastructure and tourism.
Talking points also included the processes of visa liberalisation with the EU. Mikheil Janelidze spoke about the activities carried out in this direction and about Georgia’s expectations with respect to visa-free travel with the European Union.
The two sides focused on Georgia’s expectations for the NATO Summit in Warsaw and on the progress Georgia has achieved in the process of implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.
Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo reaffirmed the unequivocal support for Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
In the frames of the visit, the Spanish Foreign Minister will meet Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Speaker of the Parliament David Usupashvili and Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II.
According to the decision of Government of Russian Federation, Georgia will have simplified visa regime with Russia started from today.
The special representative of Georgian Prime Minister on issues of cooperation with Russia, Zurab Abashidze said, that the talks are about work, private, study and humanitarian visa.
Zurab Abashidze and deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, Grigory Karasin had a talk by telephone too.
The European Commission has published its fourth and final progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the VLAPFriday, 18 December 2015 21:35
Today, on 18 December, the European Commission published its fourth and final progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).
According to the European Commission, Georgia met all the benchmarks set in respect of the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP, which means that the technical part of the process of visa liberalisation has been successfully accomplished.
We congratulate each and every citizen of Georgia on this success achieved on the path towards European integration, which has resulted from the concerted efforts of various state agencies, as well as from the substantial reforms that have been implemented in the country, and express our appreciation to every state agency involved in the visa liberalisation process.
Upon completion of all procedures identified under the European Commission’s Report, Georgian nationals will be able to enter the EU/Schengen area without applying for a visa. Taking into account overall relations between the EU and Georgia, the Commission will present, early 2016, a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 539/2001. Once the amendments enter into force, Georgian nationals will be granted visa-free travel regime to the Schengen area.
The European Commission acknowledges that Georgia has carried out far-reaching and difficult reforms in such areas as the rule of law and justice. The Report further reads that beyond VLAP benchmarks, Georgia took further steps to reform the Judiciary as well as the Prosecutor's Office.
The European Commission considers that the reforms Georgia has carried out over the past three years in all areas under the VLAP are steady and effective. It demonstrates the commitment and constant efforts of the Georgian Government and all state institutions that have made fulfilment of the VLAP benchmarks a top national priority.
According to the European Commission, since the adoption of the last progress report on Georgia's implementation of the VLAP on 8 May 2015, Georgia has made significant progress and has undertaken all the required reforms to ensure effective and sustainable achievement of the remaining benchmarks.
The Report underlines that the legislative and policy framework, the institutional and organisational principles, and the implementation of procedures throughout the four blocks comply with European and international standards.
According to the VLAP, a series of legislative and institutional reforms have been carried out in the following areas:
- document security;
- border management, migration management and asylum;
- public order and security (fight against organized crime, corruption, trafficking, money laundering, drugs, Judicial and law enforcement co-operation, personal data protection;
- protection of human rights, including minority rights;
The most important reforms carried out under the VLAP were as follows:
- creation of the State Commission on Migration Issues of Georgia and implementation of the Migration Strategy and Action Plan; establishment of a unified system of migration risk analysis;
- adoption of the Law on Protection of Personal Data and establishment of the mechanism of the Personal Data Protection Inspector;
- adoption and implementation of the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination;
- adoption and implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan on Human Rights;
- adoption of a new Law on Civil Service, providing for high international standards in the civil service;
- creation of the Labour Inspection Department;
- distinction between the criminal liability for drug possession and distribution;
- establishment of the mechanism of regular monitoring of the asset declarations, etc.
In compliance with the VLAP requirements, more than 60 law amendments and about 70 statutory acts, instructions, regulations and 9 national strategies were adopted; 7 international conventions were ratified. Besides, new structural units were established, new services were introduced, mechanisms were developed and information campaigns in VLAP defined directions were launched.
In the VLAP implementation process 22 EU assessment Missions were carried out in 13 VLAP defined directions. The European Commission issued 4 reports, including the final published as of today.
It is worth noting that Georgia achieved the progress in the shortest period of time, taking into account the fact that Georgia officially moved to the second phase of the VLAP in November 2014.
The European Commission’s report and such a positive assessment of Georgia’s tremendous efforts is one of the most important successful steps of our Government towards Georgia’s European integration.
Georgia celebrates one more Step towards Visa Liberalisation! Citizens of Georgia hang EU flags on their balconies and even Tbilisi tower is lightening in EU colors.
Commission considers that Georgia meets all the benchmarks set in respect of the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP. Taking into account overall relations between the EU and Georgia, the Commission will present, early 2016, a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 539/2001.
According to US newspaper The Wall Street Journal support is expected from Brussels on Visa Liberalisation towards Georgia.
The European Commission will release Visa Liberalisation’s Report tomorrow; the report will assess Georgia’s progress of implementing its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) and will determine whether or not the country is technically ready to be granted a visa-free regime with the EU. But after the report two more European Institution will have to make a political decision on this subject.
The European Commission was planning to release the report on December 15, but the date was rescheduled because of technical reasons.