Johannes Hahn: Georgia will receive visa liberalisation this year

EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn. Photo from, 04 Sep 2016 - 12:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn is confident Georgia will be granted visa liberalisation this year.

Hahn, who attended the EU Foreign Ministers ministerial in Bratislava, Slovakia, told Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe that a decision would be made in the European Parliament and among EU member states to grant visa liberalisation to Georgia and Ukraine later this year.

Among member states there was a clear indication, and by many of the member states a clear expectation, that both countries should get it,” Hahn said.

Quoting various EU sources, RFE/RL said the European Parliament and the Council would give the green light to visa liberalisation for Georgia and Ukraine in October or November, and citizens of these two countries would be able to travel to the EU's Schengen zone without visas later this year.

The media outlet stated earlier this summer Germany blocked a decision to grant Georgia visa liberalisation, with reports claiming Berlin feared a spike of crimes committed by Georgians in Germany if the country was granted a visa waiver.

Hahn however believes that the creation later this autumn of a beefed up EU mechanism suspending visas in case of problems 'should remove all concerns'," RFE/RL said.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze also attended the EU foreign minsters' meeting in Bratislava. Within the visit he met Foreign Ministers of France, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Lithuania. All the foreign diplomats expressed their support for Georgia’s visa liberalisation.

France recognises Georgia’s progress in its European and Euro-Atlantic integration and visa liberalisation process,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said following Janelidze’s meeting with the French high official.

The Frenchman confirmed official Paris would support Georgian citizens to receive the right to travel without a visa to the EU.