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EU visa postponed

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 30
The European Parliament has stated that it will make a final decision on the Suspension Mechanism on January 18, 2017.

The Suspension Mechanism means that visa free travel for non-EU citizens to EU territory can be suspended in particular circumstances.

In July this year, members of the European Parliament decided that the EU should have a suspension mechanism in place as an emergency brake in cases where visa-free travel in the EU is being abused by certain non-EU nationals.

This suspension mechanism would apply to all non-EU countries which have visa-free travel arrangements with the EU.

Georgia and Ukraine were told that their visa liberalisation would finally be settled when the conditions for the Suspension Mechanism are approved.

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikheil Janelidze - who is now in Brussels - attending meetings at the EU structures’ headquarters stated Georgia’s visa-free travel was “inevitable” as soon as the final decision on the Suspension Mechanism was made.

This week, Georgia’s Prime Minister and several Cabinet of Ministers are also scheduled to hold meetings in Brussels with senior EU officials.

In the beginning of October this year, the Council of Europe agreed it was time to begin negotiating with the European Parliament about the right to grant Georgian citizens a visa waiver and allow Georgian citizens to travel to the EU’s Schengen Zone without a visa.

The statement came after Georgia received high assessments from the European Commission last year, with the body saying Georgia had met all its visa-free requirements.