EP President promises to "speed up" visa liberalisation with Georgia

Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili and EP’s President Martin Schulz at the joint press conference in Brussels on November 18, 2014.
Agenda.ge, 18 Nov 2014 - 23:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz is promising to "speed up” Georgia’s visa liberalisation process with the European Union (EU).

"European Parliament looks to make the visa regime as effective as possible in the short term ... [and] to make enterprises and investors get access to the European single market,” Schulz said at the joint press conference after a roundtable discussion with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in Brussels today.

PM Garibashvili noted Georgia’s progress in visa liberalisation dialogue with the EU and named visa free travel for Georgia’s citizens to the EU as the main priority of his country.

"Establishing a visa free regime as you mentioned Mr. President is one of the main priorities of my country. Visa free travel will be the most attractive results of Georgia’s EU integration process in the short term perspectives. It will bring tangible benefits for the citizens of Georgia,” Garibahsvili said.

Georgia has fulfilled phase one of the visa liberalisation process and has moved onto the next step. On November 17 it became clear that the EU’s first mission will visit Georgia on November 24 and prepare a progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the second phase of visa liberalisation.

Garibashvili, who was in Brussels to attend the first EU-Georgia Association Council meeting, believed the EP would ratify the EU-Georgia Association Agreement soon.

He stressed the Association Agreement was the master plan of Georgia and its effective implementation was of the greatest importance.

"Our main priority is to consolidate democracy, the rule of law and good governance, strengthen the independence of the judiciary and to ensure the protection of human rights and freedoms,” he said.

"We are confident that by implementing the Association Agreement, Georgia will eventually become a stable country with a functioning pluralist democracy.

A country where effective mechanisms of checks and balances and strong democratic institutions are provided."

Garibashvili was confident of EP's unflagging support to the principles of sovereignty, non-interference and each country's right to define and pursue its foreign policy.