Georgia: One step closer to visa free travel to the EU

The European Commission adopted its second progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan., 29 Oct 2014 - 17:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian citizens are one step closer to travelling visa free to European Union (EU) states as the country has successfully completed the first phase of the visa liberalisation process and moved onto the next step.

The European Commission, which was the EU’s executive body, today adopted its second progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).

The document concluded that Georgia had met the phase one requirements and the second phase, where the Commission will check the implementation of all required benchmarks, could therefore be launched.

"I am pleased with the results of our assessment and would like to congratulate the Georgian authorities for their efforts,” Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said.

"They have shown remarkable commitment by putting in place the required legislative changes. This is a significant achievement, an important step in the process that will bring Georgia closer to its goal of visa free regime with the EU.”

Since the Commission’s last report in November 2013, Georgia has adopted laws in the fields of document security, asylum, anti-corruption and money-laundering, as well as other measures in order to address identified gaps.

"Important changes made to the legal framework for the protection of personal data during the summer of 2014 and the adoption and entry into force of an Anti-Discrimination Law in spring 2014 are also testimony to Georgia's commitment to the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue,” the Commission declared.

Georgian authorities were now expected to continue working on these areas and the implementation of new provisions will be further monitored as part of the second-phase benchmarks.

The Commission said it was ready to provide assistance to Georgia as it implemented the legislative, policy and institutional framework of phase two of the VLAP.