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Georgia might be granted visa-liberalization in October

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 15
“Georgia has successfully fulfilled all its obligations in the framework of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP), and now it is the turn of the European Union (EU) to recognise Georgia's achievements,” EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, stated after the meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia on July 14 in Batumi.

Hahn noted that nearly all EU member states are for granting visa-liberalization to Georgia, and it is time that EU fulfilled its promise.

“I am sure that Georgia will be granted visa-liberalization no later than the beginning of October,” stated the EU Official, and underlined he would do his best to finish the process in time.

Johannes Hahn also drew attention to the upcoming parliamentary elections of Georgia, scheduled for October 8, and expressed hope that the elections would be held in a fair and competitive environment.

According to the Prime Minister’s press centre, the main topics of the meeting were the major issues of European integration and further cooperation between Georgia and the EU.

During the meeting, it was noted that Georgia successfully implemented reforms in terms of Euro-integration and that it is the leader among the eastern Partnership countries.

Kvirikashvili explained that visa-free travel would be a logical step on the road to EU integration, and it is of great importance in the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU.

"For us, EU integration and reforms, which took place within the framework of the Association Agreement (AA), are a priority. We have taken steps to successfully follow this path and we are implementing important reforms,” PM claimed.

Moreover, PM Kvirikashvili, Johannes Hahn and the other governmental and foreign officials attended the 13th international conference -Georgia’s European Way, which was held in Batumi on July 14.

The Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the participants of the conference. Pursuant to him, it is significant that the 13th annual conference took place in the European city of Batumi, the crossroads of Greek, Roman, and Ottoman civilizations from ancient times.

“Batumi is a part of Europe, and it will really be the pulse of Europe, the embodiment of European strength and its future,” Kvirikashvili stated while delivering his speech.

According to him, Georgia is making steady progress in implementing the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

“We would like European countries to see that Georgia is not a country that will cause problems. It will promote the strengthening of the EU,” the PM added.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili also spoke at the conference about the upcoming parliamentary elections, saying the government would create fair and free environment for this process.

“We have conducted successful and free Presidential and local elections, and we will complete the circle with the legislative elections,” he said.

In his speech, Georgia’s PM spoke about regional developments as well as Georgia's leading position in region and about the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia.

The opening ceremony of the 13th international conference was attended by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Speaker of Parliament of Georgia Davit Usupashvili, Georgia's State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration ,David Bakradze, as well as members of legislative and executive branches of government, members of private, civil and academic sectors of EU and its member states as well as representatives of Eastern Partnership countries.

The apparatus of the State Ministry on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration organized the event. GLOBSEC Policy Institute is the partner of the conference.