European Commission Progress Report: Georgia meets criteria for visa liberalisation (18/12/2015)

The European Commission adopted today the fourth and last progress report on Georgia's implementation of the action plan on visa liberalisation (VLAP). The progress report highlights the significant headway made by Georgia to meet the criteria for visa liberalisation. Following the positive assessment of the progress report and taking into account the overall EU-Georgia relations, the Commission will present in early 2016 a legislative proposal to lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens holding a biometric passport - amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "I am very pleased that Georgian citizens with a biometric passport will soon be able to travel to the Schengen area for short stays without a visa. The hard work of the Georgian authorities over the past three years towards achieving this important goal for the benefit of the Georgina citizens has given positive results."

The EU-Georgia Visa Dialogue has proved to be an important and particularly effective tool for advancing far-reaching and difficult reforms in the Justice and Home Affairs area and beyond, impacting on areas such as the rule of law and justice reform. Beyond the VLAP benchmarks, Georgia has taken further steps to reform the Judiciary as well as the Prosecutor's Office.

Based on the Commission's assessment, and given the outcome of the continuous monitoring and reporting carried out since the launch of the EU-Georgia Visa Liberalisation Dialogue in June 2012, the Commission considers that Georgia has made the necessary progress and undertaken all the required reforms to ensure effective and sustainable achievement of all the benchmarks set in the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP. Georgia has taken the actions demanded by the recommendations of the third progress report to ensure effective and sustainable implementation of its legislative framework in the fields of migration management, asylum, anti-corruption, drugs, trafficking in human beings, money-laundering, law-enforcement cooperation, and citizens' rights.