EU foreign ministers, who are meeting in Brussels on November 17, have welcomed fulfillment by Georgia of first-phase requirements under the visa liberalisation dialogue with the EU, which paved the way for the launch of the second phase.
The first phase benchmarks included the overall policy framework, involving adoption of relevant legislation, and the second phase benchmarks involve putting into practice effective and sustainable implementation of these relevant measures and legislation. Experts from EU-member states will make evaluation mission to assess implementation of second phase benchmarks late this month.
“The [Foreign Affairs] Council reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the shared objective of visa-free travel for the citizens of Georgia provided that all the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility as set out in the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation are in place,” the EU foreign ministers said in their conclusions on Georgia on November 17.
“The Council shares the analysis that Georgia has fulfilled all the benchmarks under the first phase of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation, and decides to launch the assessment of the benchmarks under the second phase. In this regard the Council stresses the need for full and effective implementation of all benchmarks under the second phase and will pay particular attention to it,” it reads.
PM Irakli Garibashvili, who is visiting Brussels for the first meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council later on November 17, met earlier on Monday EU commissioner for migration and home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos. Implementation of Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) was the main topic of discussion, according to the Georgian PM’s office.
VLAP represents a set of detailed requirements that a country should meet in order to be granted by the EU short-term visa-free regime.