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26 Apr 2019

Georgian Minister of Justice Claims Visa-Free Regime With Europe Is “Facing Difficulties”

Tea TsulukianiGeorgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani has warned that the visa-free travel to the Schengen zone for Georgians “is recently going through some particular difficulties.”

After a meeting with Deputy Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission Simon Mordue, minister Tsulukiani said that the European countries are worrying that some Georgians are “abusing the visa-free mechanism.”

Changes should be made so that those honest citizens, who are traveling to the Schengen zone and then coming back can continue to benefit from visa-free travel,” she asserted after the meeting.

She explained that the visa-free regime does not grant to travelers with the right to settle in Europe or work there.

This unique opportunity of visa-free travel is intended for tourist or other short-term purposes,” the Georgian Justice Minister said, adding that Georgia should do more to maintain the visa-free regime with Europe.

Deputy Director-General Simon Mordue also met with the Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani on Wednesday, to whom he also expressed the concerns of some EU member states over the increased number of asylum seekers from Georgia.

We have very important proposals, an action plan and I hope that our joint efforts will prove successful and the enforcement of visa suspension mechanism will not be necessary,” Minister Zalkaliani commented after the meeting.

About a year ago, the German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere called the number of Georgian nationals seeking asylum in Schengen Countries “worrisome”.

Whereas in January 2018, the correspondent of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Strasbourg, Rikard Jozwiak, had said that EU member states are worried about the number of asylum seekers from Georgia.

EU member states are actually more worried about asylum seekers from #Georgia. The suspension mechanism will be debated by diplomats on Tue.” he had written on Twitter.

Since the declaration of independence in the early 1990s, Georgia has lost 1/3 of its population due to ongoing mass exodus.

According to the visa liberalization suspension mechanism of the Schengen Members, a delaying of the visa-waiver deal for nine months might be applied if a certain country violates the agreement.

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