The messenger logo

Visa liberalization expectations high in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 8
“We hope that the European Parliament will further contribute to Georgia’s political association and economic integration with the EU," President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated at a meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, on June 7 in Strasbourg.

According to Margvelashvili, Georgia appreciates the support from the European Parliament and from Martin Schulz for Georgia’s European choice. He underlined that Georgia effectively fulfilled its obligations and successfully carried out the visa liberalization action plan requirements therefore the expectations are high in Georgia.

"Today we need support from the EU with the visa liberalization process. We will be grateful if you personally get involved in the process and facilitate proper and quick discussions in the European Parliament,” the President addressed Martin Schulz.

The President of Georgia also spoke about Georgia’s visa-liberalization issue while delivering a speech at the European Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee meeting. He noted that Georgia wants to fully join the European family.

“We believe that Georgia will get an award for fulfilling all the conditions of visa liberalization action plan and Georgia’s issue will not be lost in discussions. It would be unfair and against the basic principles that we promised to each other," Margvelashvili stated.

According to the State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Davit Bakradze, Georgia’s visa-liberalization process is going successfully. He said that during the meeting with Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament noted that the European Parliament has one position about Georgia’s visa-liberalization and promised that the Committees will accelerate the process.

Bakradze said that the Interior Ministers of all the EU member states will discuss Georgia’s issue on June 10. “Besides the EU Council, we need the support of the European Parliament,” said the Minister.

However, MEP Saryusz Wolski said that Georgia’s visa-liberalization issue will not be discussed until October 2016. Wolski explained that the delay was caused by the disagreement over the so-called suspension mechanism in the European Parliament and the issue is not related to Georgia’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

“Georgia will get visa liberalization later, but the more you do to eliminate any deficits in democracy, the more quickly and easily it will happen," commented Wolski.

The Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the reports on the postponement of the discussion of Georgia’s visa liberalization issue.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Gigi Gigiadze, the Georgian side has not been provided with any information to this effect and hopes that the process will be concluded by this summer.

"Many statements were made by various parties in the European Parliament. We expect that the process will be accelerated as much as possible," said Gigiadze.

Gigiadze explained that a clearer picture will be created after June 10, when the issue will be discussed by the EU Council of Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs.