EU Parliament creates Georgia Friendship Team

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze (R) and co-chair of the friendship team Clare Moody. Photo: JanelidzeMkh/Twitter, 14 Sep 2016 - 12:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Parliament (EP) has established a Georgia Friendship Team to strengthen the already strong ties that exist between the EP, the European Union (EU) and Georgia.

The team comprised of members from all leading political parties of the EP, said Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The new Georgia Friendship Team’s first meeting was held yesterday during Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze’s visit to Strasbourg, France.

"Georgia is proud to have a group of reliable friends in the EU Parliament,” Janelidze said on Twitter afterward.

Co-chair of the friendship team, Clare Moody, said the newly created board would try to strengthen the ties that already existed between the EU, EP and Georgia.

"We will include representatives from all European political groups and we will work closely together to ensure all promises the EU has given to Georgia are fulfilled,” Moody said.

Kalle Palling is Chairman of EU Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Estonia. He twitted this after meeting Janelidze yesterday. 

Meanwhile yesterday in Strasbourg Janelidze met EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Hahn assured Janelidze and the people of Georgia that there were no different opinions regarding Georgia’s visa liberalisation in the EP and EU Council, and everyone agreed to grant Georgia a visa waiver for the Schengen zone.

The EU high official said institutional discussions were currently underway in the EP and the European Council concerning the so-called suspension mechanism, which applied to all countries that had visa-free regime with the EU.

Hahn was confident these formal procedures would be finalised soon. He said:

"I personally will do my best to arrange this in a way that’s in everyone’s best interest, and especially in Georgia’s interest as Georgia and its citizens do deserve visa-free travel; they fulfilled all requirements for this.