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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

The European Commission has published its fourth and final progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP)

Today, on 18 December, the European Commission published its fourth and final progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP). According to the European Commission, Georgia met all the benchmarks set in respect of the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP, which means that the technical part of the process of visa liberalisation has been successfully accomplished. We congratulate each and every citizen of Georgia on this success achieved on the path towards European integration, which has resulted from the concerted efforts of various state agencies, as well as from the substantial reforms that have been implemented in the country, and express our appreciation to every state agency involved in the visa liberalisation process. Upon completion of all procedures identified under the European Commission’s Report, Georgian nationals will be able to enter the EU/Schengen area without applying for a visa. Taking into account overall relations between the EU and Georgia, the Commission will present, early 2016, a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 539/2001. Once the amendments enter into force, Georgian nationals will be granted visa-free travel regime to the Schengen area.  The European Commission acknowledges that Georgia has carried out far-reaching and difficult reforms in such areas as the rule of law and justice. The Report further reads that beyond VLAP benchmarks, Georgia took further steps to reform the Judiciary as well as the Prosecutor's Office. The European Commission considers that the reforms Georgia has carried out over the past three years in all areas under the VLAP are steady and effective. It demonstrates the commitment and constant efforts of the Georgian Government and all state institutions that have made fulfilment of the VLAP benchmarks a top national priority.According to the European Commission,  since the adoption  of the last progress report on Georgia's implementation of the VLAP on 8 May 2015, Georgia has made  significant progress and has undertaken all the required reforms to ensure effective and sustainable achievement of the remaining benchmarks. The Report underlines that the legislative and policy framework, the institutional and organisational principles, and the implementation of procedures throughout the four blocks comply with European and international standards. According to the VLAP, a series of legislative and institutional reforms have been carried out in the following areas: 

  • document security;
  • border management, migration management and asylum;
  • public order and security (fight against organized crime, corruption, trafficking,  money laundering, drugs, Judicial and law enforcement co-operation, personal data protection;
  • protection of human rights, including minority rights;

The most important reforms carried out under the VLAP were as follows: 

  • creation of the State Commission on Migration Issues of Georgia and implementation of the Migration Strategy and Action Plan; establishment of a unified system of migration risk analysis;
  •  adoption of the Law on Protection of Personal Data and establishment of the mechanism of the Personal Data Protection Inspector;
  •  adoption and implementation of the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination;
  •  adoption and implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan on Human Rights;
  •  adoption of a new Law on Civil Service, providing for high international standards in the  civil service;
  •  creation of the Labour Inspection Department;
  •  distinction between the criminal liability for drug possession and distribution;
  •  establishment of the mechanism of regular monitoring of the asset declarations, etc.

 In compliance with the VLAP requirements, more than 60 law amendments and about 70 statutory acts, instructions, regulations and 9 national  strategies were adopted; 7 international conventions were ratified. Besides, new structural units were established, new services were introduced, mechanisms were developed and information campaigns in VLAP defined directions were launched.In the VLAP implementation process 22 EU assessment Missions were carried out in 13 VLAP defined directions. The European Commission issued 4 reports, including the final published as of today.It is worth noting that Georgia achieved the progress in the shortest period of time, taking into account the fact that Georgia officially moved to the second phase of the VLAP in November 2014.   The European Commission’s report and such a positive assessment of Georgia’s tremendous efforts is one of the most important successful steps of our Government towards Georgia’s European integration.    Fourth progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the action plan on visaliberalisation

 
 

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