European Council confirms agreement on visa liberalisation for Georgia

European Council confirms agreement on visa liberalisation for GeorgiaGeorgia gets one step closer to visa-free travel to the European Union (EU) after EU diplomats gave the green light to Georgia’s visa liberalisation on Tuesday.

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) of the Governments of Member States to the EU this afternoon approved the amendments to the text of Georgia’s visa liberalisation agreement adopted by three EU institutions on December 13.

Coreper - consisted of member states Ambassador’s to the EU - backed Georgia’s visa liberalisation on behalf of the EU Council.

Coreper’s support meant Georgia’s visa liberalisation deal was now allowed to be passed to the European Parliament, where the document will be first discussed by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

"The Council has demonstrated its strong commitment to visa-free travel for Georgian citizens, taking into account Georgia's hard work. The Presidency believes that the path of credible reforms is the right one and should be encouraged," said Robert Kalinak, Interior Minister of Slovakia and President of the Council.

"It was the recent upgrade of the suspension mechanism that allowed us to inject a new momentum into talks on visa liberalisation with countries fulfilling all criteria. At the same time, this upgrade will help ensure that those criteria will continue to be met," he added.

The Council added that the entry into force of visa liberalisation for Georgia should be at the same time as the entry into force of the new "suspension mechanism".
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