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LIBE supports Georgia’s visa-liberalization

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, January 13
The European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) approved the amendments to the text of Georgia’s visa liberalization with the European Union (EU) on Thursday.

A total of 42 MEPs out of 45 voted for the motion, while 2 were against and one refrained.

Georgia’s visa-liberalization issue will be likely discussed by the European parliament on February 2.

The European Parliament and the Council of Europe reached a political agreement on Tuesday over Georgia’s visa liberalization with the EU on December 13, 2016.

The political agreement came after the trialogue of the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. This was the first tripartite meeting on Georgia’s visa liberalization involving all the European Union (EU) structures.

Later, the EU Council Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Governments of Member States to the EU (Coreper) approved the amendments to the text of Georgia’s visa liberalization agreed and adopted by the EU Commission, EU Parliament and Council.

The positive decision of LIBE will be followed by a vote at the European Parliament’s plenary session, after which the amended regulations will be formally approved by the EU Council at the Ministerial level.

Upon the signing of the legislative amendment by the President of the European Parliament and a representative of the country holding the EU presidency, the regulations will be published in the official journal of the EU.

Visa-free travel will be granted to Georgia upon entry into force of the amended suspension mechanism regulation.

EU Parliamentarians have stated the whole process for Georgia will be completed by the end of April 2017.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the decision made by LIBE and said the whole process was underway without any delays.

“We hope that the entire procedures will be completed on time and citizens of Georgia will enjoy visa-free travel with the EU member states and Schengen area with biometric passports,” the statement of the Ministry reads.