European Commission report: Georgia fulfills its visa-free obligations, asylum seekers remain a problem

Visa-free travel for Georgians entered into force in March 2017. Photo: N.Alavidze/, 20 Dec 2018 - 15:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Commission has released its report on the fulfilment of visa-free obligations by  Georgia, other Eastern Partnership countries and the Balkan states.

The report reads that Georgia is fulfilling its obligations taken on with the EU: however, it also says that irregular migration still remains an issue of concern.

Irregular migration from Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU remains high, while the increasing number of unfounded asylum applications in the EU from Moldovan and Georgian citizens is a source of concern,” the statement reads.

The EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said that visa-free travel with the Western Balkan and Eastern European partners is a great achievement which brings benefits for both sides.

It also comes with responsibilities and obligations. I welcome all concerned countries to continue to fulfil their obligations, but call for swift and enhanced efforts to continue curbing irregular migration, and fighting corruption and organised crime."

The EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell says that according to the report Georgia is fulfilling its obligations.

The number of asylum seekers from Georgia has also decreased,” Hartzell says.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani says that the report is positive about Georgia and that the country is taking all measures to decrease the number of asylum seekers to the EU-member states from Georgia.

Visa free travel for Georgia entered into force in March 2017.