Georgia’s EU visa progress report published tomorrow, confirms EU Delegation to Georgia

At the lesson of Europe in school of Tserovani IDP settlement. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 17 Dec 2015 - 17:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

A top European Union official accredited in Georgia has this afternoon revealed Georgia’s progress report on visa liberalisation with the European Union (EU) will be released tomorrow.

A short time ago the Delegation of the EU to Georgia announced the European Commission "will issue its progress report on Georgia's implementation of the action plan on visa liberalisation on 18 December”.

The statement also said Ambassador of the EU to Georgia Janos Herman will hold a press conference in Tbilisi tomorrow, coinciding with the publication of the report.

The release of visa liberalisation progress reports for Georgia and Ukraine was supposed to be released on December 15 but was postponed. At the time EU officials said the important document would be published before the end of the year.

On december 15 High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said work was still going on in the European Commission and the reports would be out "in the coming days”.

Meanwhile Ambassador of Georgia to the EU Natalie Sabanadze said on December 15 that the release of the documents was postponed because of Ukraine and the delay had nothing to do with Georgia. She added the progress reports were now expected to be published no later than December 25 this year.

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.

The much-anticipated 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.

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 the upcoming report, Georgian citizens will be able to travel to Europe visa free by summer 2016.