Georgia Completes First Phases of Visa Liberalization Process

Georgia is one step closer to gaining visa-free travel to the European Union (EU) after implementing 100 high level changes in the past year.

Since 2013, when Georgia was offered a Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP) from the EU, the country has adopted 50 new laws and legislative changes, 40 legal acts and 10 strategies and action plans. Georgia’s recent action ensured the country was nearing the end of the first stage of the VLAP and preparing to enter the second and final stage.

Georgian authorities said they expected the country would be appropriately recognized and hoped all its recent actions would be properly reflected at the EU Summit in Riga, Latvia, in 2015. Georgian deputy Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili today said she believed in Riga, the EU would send Georgia a positive message, as it did with Moldova at the previous summit in Vilnius.

Georgia received its VLAP from the EU in February 2013. The Plan consisted of two phases – the legislative stage and implementation process. All of the recent changes to Georgian law meant the country was about to end the first stage and prepare to enter the next stage of the VLAP.

Meanwhile Moldova was granted a VLAP by the EU in 2011. Earlier this year when the country completed both phases of the Action Plan, its citizens were granted visa-free entry to Schengenn area countries.


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