14 Dec 2015

EU to release Georgia’s visa liberalisation progress report tomorrow


EU to release Georgia’s visa liberalisation progress report tomorrow

Georgia implemented a number of changes in the past year to fulfil obligations necessary for a visa-free regime to the EU. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Will Georgian citizens be able to travel to the European Union (EU) visa free? The answer to this highly anticipated question will be known tomorrow when a report by EU experts is released.

The report will assess Georgia’s progress of implementing its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) and will determine whether or not the country was technically ready to be granted a visa-free regime with the EU.

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If the report says Georgia is ready, the European Commission will ask the European Council and European Parliament to launch procedures to offer Georgia a visa-free regime to the Schengen zone.

This process will take about six or seven months, so if Georgia receives positive news in tomorrow’s report, citizens will be able to travel to Europe visa free by summer 2016.

Officials in Georgia are expecting the report to be positive.

Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze said: “Tomorrow’s document will sum up Georgia’s recent work and we have a big hope that it will be positive.”

He said the decision was in Georgia’s favour, any Georgian citizen who holds a biometric passport will be able to enjoy visa free travel. Bakradze said those living in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions would also enjoy this opportunity if they asked for a Georgian biometric passport.

Georgia implemented a number of changes in the past year to fulfill obligations necessary for a visa-free regime to the EU. The country amended 70 laws and also joined several international conventions.

Source: agenda.ge

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