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Georgia and Ukraine meet criteria for visa liberalisation

December 18, 2015
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On 18 December European Commission adopted the sixth and last progress report on the implementation by Ukraine of its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and the fourth and last progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the action plan on visa liberalization.

Following the positive assessment of the progress reports and taking into account the overall EU relations with Ukraine and Georgia, the Commission will present in early 2016 legislative proposals to the Council and the European Parliament to lift visa requirements for Georgian and Ukrainian citizens holding a biometric passport – amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001.

Background

The main tool of the dialogue is the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which is tailor-made for each partner country and structured around four blocks concerning i) document security, including biometrics; ii) integrated border management, migration management, asylum; iii) public order and security; and iv) external relations and fundamental rights. These benchmarks were set with a view to adopting a legislative, policy and institutional framework (phase 1) and ensuring its effective and sustainable implementation (phase 2).

The EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Dialogue was launched on October 2008 and the VLAP was presented to the Ukrainian authorities on November 2010.

In September 2011, the Commission adopted its first progress report on Ukraine’s implementation of the VLAP and made several recommendations for completing the first (legislative and planning) phase. The Commission published its second progress report on 9 February 2012, and the third on 15 November 2013. Following the Commission’s fourth report on 27 May 2014 and its endorsement by the Council on 23 June 2014, Ukraine was officially in the second phase of the action plan where an assessment was made regarding sustainable implementation of the legislative and policy framework.

The Commission adopted the fifth progress report on Ukraine’s implementation of the VLAP on 8 May 2015. Today’s report is the sixth and last progress report.

TheEU-Georgia Visa Liberalisation Dialogue was launched on 4 June 2012 and the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan was presented to the Georgian authorities on 25 February 2013. These benchmarks were set with a view to adopting a legislative, policy and institutional framework (phase 1) and ensuring its effective and sustainable implementation (phase 2).

In its first progress report adopted in November 2013 the Commission made a number of recommendations for completing the first legislative and planning phase. In October 2014, the Commission adopted its second progress report which concluded that Georgia had fulfilled the first-phase benchmarks of the VLAP and was ready to be assessed on the second-phase benchmarks. In its conclusions of 17 November 2014, the Council concurred with the Commission’s assessment. The Commission adopted the third progress report on Georgia’s implementation of the VLAP on 8 May 2015. The report took note of significant progress made by the Georgian authorities in implementing the second phase of the VLAP and acknowledged the fulfilment of many benchmarks under the four blocks. Today’s report is the fourth and last progress report.

Source: European Commission

Image Source: European External Action Service

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