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PM meets officials in Brussels

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, December 2
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, held his first face-to-face meeting with Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, on Wednesday, during his official visit to Brussels, Belgium.

The parties discussed the core issues of European Union (EU)-Georgia strategic cooperation. Special attention at the meeting was paid to the issue of visa liberalization. According to the parties, Georgia has fulfilled all of its obligations, including all requirements under the Visa Liberalization Action Plan, and now it is up to the EU to ensure the successful completion of the visa liberalization process.

The discussion also involved the importance of the effective implementation of democratic reforms in Georgia, including judiciary reform.

The Prime Minister of Georgia and the President of the European Parliament discussed the issues and challenges pertaining to regional security, as well as the situation in Georgia's occupied territories.

Martin Schulz congratulated Kvirikashvili on his party's victory in Georgia’s October parliamentary elections.

“I congratulate the Prime Minister of Georgia on the victory in the elections and I wish I had similar results,” the European Parliament President said at the joint press-conference after meeting with Kvirikashvili.

Schulz also stated that the European Parliament fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“You can count on the unconditional support of the European Parliament in terms of Georgia’s territorial integrity,” Martin Schulz said to Georgia’s PM.

Georgia’s PM thanked the President of the European Parliament and underlined the importance of EU support in the implementation of Georgia's demanding reforms. According to him, the Government of Georgia is committed to continuing its political association and economic integration with the European Union.

“With the huge support of the EU, Georgia has made significant progress in terms of democracy consolidation, the rule of law and judicial independence,” said Kvirikashvili.

Afterwards, the PM held a meeting with Manfred Weber, the Chair of the European People's Party Group. The parties discussed the core issues of EU-Georgia relations. The discussion involved visa liberalization, ways to implement the Association Agreement, and Georgia's ongoing reforms.

At the meeting, special emphasis was placed on the importance of more intense dialogue with the European Parliament and its active contribution to Georgia's association process with the EU.

Moreover, Kvirikashvili met Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

Reforms implemented in the process of EU visa liberalization and steps taken by Georgia toward modernizing migration policies were discussed as the main topics of the meeting.

The EU commissioner commended the work carried out under the Visa Liberalization Action Plan, which, according to him, was reflected in the Commission's final report.

Avramopoulos reiterated his support and expressed hope that Georgian citizens would be able to enjoy visa-free travel in the European Union in the near future.

It was noted that under the Visa Liberalization Action Plan, Georgia had implemented immigration and emigration control reforms, while also adopting the Law on the Protection of Personal Data and the Migration Strategy and Action Plan.

The parties emphasized the importance of the new Association Agenda for 2017-2020, new opportunities for closer relations between the European Union and Georgia, and prospects of deepening ties on migration and security issues.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the EU Commissioner for his personal contribution to Georgia's European integration.