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Saturday, January 20, 2018

“Ukraine and Georgia are celebrating the opening of Europe”

Ukraine and Georgia ready to a visa-free regime with the EU, decided in the European Commission. Triumphant now the sound is from Kiev and Tbilisi. Most likely visa will be cancelled next year – but they do not lead, as many expect Ukraine to resolve all the country’s inhabitants to work in the EU and earn accordingly.

On Friday, the European Commission published the final report which indicated that in Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo are preparing visa exemptions. Also in Brussels hosted the EU summit, the results of which Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the European Commission proposes to the EU Council of Ministers to make quick decisions on the abolition of visas for these countries (Russia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence).

“The lack of a visa regime for Ukraine and Georgia will result in even bigger problems than a visa regime”

“This is an important event for Georgia”

According to the EC, Georgia has fulfilled all the obligations, the provisions and requirements of the corresponding plan of action, and it meets European and international standards. Approximately from the second half of next year, Georgians will be able to make visa-free short-term travel to the EU.

In this regard, the report of the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili declared “victory Georgia, victory of the Georgian people”. “Europe confirms the confidence of our people, he said. – Is a major event for Georgia in its recent history. We’ve been waiting for this day.” “It doesn’t mean literally tomorrow the citizens of Georgia will be able without visas to visit the EU. For a final decision on this will need a certain stage, which based on the experience of other countries will take several months,” – said Garibashvili.

He noted that “in six months, Georgian citizens will have the opportunity without a visa for 90 days per year to reside in any EU country, to participate in sports and cultural activities, to travel there as tourists to visit the EU on a business trip, to visit friends and relatives”. And the state Minister for reconciliation and civic equality Paata Zakareishvili called the event “a historic day for Georgia.”

In Tbilisi I also hope that visa-free travel to Europe will attract the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will boost their interest in the passports of citizens of Georgia.

Kiev progresses

As for Ukraine, the EC also commended the country’s implementation of the plan on liberalization of visa regime with EU in the beginning of 2016 will be brought before the Council of Europe on the abolition of visas. According to experts of the European Commission, Kiev has made progress on indicators of internal security, border management and migration policy for refugees, the fight against organized crime, corruption and human trafficking, money laundering and illicit drug trafficking, data protection. The EC also saw the success of the Kyiv in the protection of the rights of national and other minorities.

“Taking into account the results of the monitoring and reporting conducted after the start of the visa dialogue in October 2008, the Commission considers that Ukraine has fulfilled all the criteria set for the four blocks of the second phase VLAP (the action plan of the visa liquidation)” – quoted by “European truth” the report of the EC.

To ensure that the recommendations of the European Commission entered into force, the EU Council must approve the decision by consensus of all 28 EU countries, then it needs to be approved by the European Parliament.

Repression and terror in Ukrainecan said the European Commissioner for migration, home Affairs and citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, “the Commission will submit in early 2016 legislative proposals,” and “it will take at least a few months.”

The official stressed that the abolition of the EU visa regime with Ukraine and Georgia “will not affect those traveling in the EU”. “Visa-free regime will apply only to trips with a duration of no more than 90 days (three months) for the period at least 180 days (six months). He also will not apply to those who intend to engage in gainful activity,” he said, adding that “this mode is aimed for tourism, education, participation in cultural and sporting activities”.

“We fulfilled the plan on visa liberalization”

Kiev has fulfilled the plan on visa liberalization with the EU over the past five years and now has come to the last phase. In November, after many unsuccessful attempts, Parliament banned discrimination in employment on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. This was one of the key demands of the EU, because in the end, excludes the possibility of seeking political asylum in the EU from discrimination in hiring or promotion in Ukraine.

Last week the Ukrainian government has developed an action plan for the next year, one of the main priorities of which was called a visa-free regime with the EU. For this purpose the authorities plan to reform education and health care, to arrange another wave of privatisation, to introduce new tax rules. It also promised to continue the decentralization process, to sign an agreement on free trade zone with the European Union and to complete the judicial reform.


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