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Georgia’s visa liberalisation to be voted in September

By Mariam Chanishvili
Thursday, July 14
A major committee of the European Parliament (EP) dealing with visa-liberalisation issues will hold a vote on Georgia’s visa-free travel prospects to the Schengen Zone on September 5, Georgia’s Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Davit Bakradze said.

Voting at the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) will come after the recent vote at the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET).

“We can say openly that the decision about Georgia’s visa-liberalization is already made in Europe. The meeting on September 5 is planned in the LIBE committee. If the decisions are positive, the issue will be discussed in the European Parliament plenary session,” stated Bakradze.

The Minister said he has positive expectations over Georgia’s visa liberalisation prospects.

About 150 lawmakers from all over the European Union (EU) involved in AFET have recently voted in favour of Georgia gaining visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone.

Reports on Georgia praised the country’s efforts to gain the visa-free travel and recommended LIBE support Georgia’s visa liberalization intentions, especially when the European Commission said last year that Georgia had fulfilled all its obligations for visa-free travel.

Germany, which went against Georgia’s visa-liberalisation a month ago, now said it supported Georgia’s visa-free movement in the Schengen zone.

Germany stated there were come concerns over the Georgian citizens committing crimes in Germany. The country stressed Georgia should wait until the EU adopted certain rules over depriving the nation of visa-free travel in case of major violations or complications.