The European Commission has proposed to the EU Council and the European Parliament to abolish the visa regime for Georgian citizens, placing the country in the list of States whose citizens can travel without visas to the Schengen area. This is stated in the press release of the European Commission, which was published on Wednesday, 9 March.
In December 2015, the Commission positively assessed Georgia’s actions taken in the framework of the plan of liberalization of visa regime.
As stated by Commissioner for home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, “visa-free regime will further facilitate contacts between the citizens of Georgia and the EU, their social and cultural relations”. Avramopoulos called the decision an important achievement of Georgia residents.
Now a European Commission proposal on the abolition of visas for citizens of Georgia must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. After that, the Georgians, holders of biometric passports do not need visas if tourist, family or business visits to the Schengen area for up to 90 days. The right to work in the EU, the visa exemption does not provide.
Visa-free regime will apply to all member countries of the European Union, except Ireland and the UK, as well as four associated countries of the Schengen area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
As regards the visa regime between Georgia and Russia, it was introduced after the conflict in South Ossetia in 2008, but in 2012, Georgia had unilaterally cancelled. Now the Russians to travel to Georgia visa is not required, but the Georgians to travel to Russia it is necessary. At the end of 2015 Russia has made it easier for Georgia’s visa regime, President Vladimir Putin did not rule out its complete abolition.
In December 2015 the European Commission approved a positive report on Ukraine’s implementation of the action plan on visa liberalization with the European Union and declared his readiness to recommend to the EU Council to consider the introduction of a visa-free regime for Ukraine.