EU-Georgia agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visa

The EU and Geor­gia signed today a visa facil­i­ta­tion agree­ment at a cer­e­mo­ny that took place in Brus­sels. The EU was rep­re­sent­ed by Miguel Ángel Morati­nos, Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs of Spain in his capac­i­ty as Pres­i­dent of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union, and Cecil­ia Malm­ström, EU Com­mis­sion­er for Home Affairs. Geor­gia was rep­re­sent­ed by Grigol Vashadze, Geor­gian Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs. The agree­ment will now be sent to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment with a view to obtain­ing its con­sent. The agree­ment makes it eas­i­er and cheap­er for Geor­gian cit­i­zens, in par­tic­u­lar those who trav­el most, to acquire short stay visas allow­ing them to trav­el to and freely through­out the EU. A short stay visa is a visa for an intend­ed stay of no more than 90 days per peri­od of 180 days. EU cit­i­zens are already exempt from the visa oblig­a­tion when trav­el­ling to or tran­sit­ing through Geor­gia since 1 June 2006.

The agree­ment sub­stan­tial­ly sim­pli­fies the nec­es­sary sup­port­ing doc­u­ments for a visa appli­ca­tion for cer­tain cat­e­gories of per­sons, e.g. close rel­a­tives who are vis­it­ing Geor­gian cit­i­zens resid­ing in the EU, busi­ness­men, sci­en­tists, stu­dents and jour­nal­ists. For some cat­e­gories of fre­quent trav­ellers and under cer­tain con­di­tions, mem­ber states are sup­posed to issue mul­ti-entry visas with long peri­ods of valid­i­ty. Hold­ers of diplo­mat­ic pass­ports are exempt­ed from the visa oblig­a­tion.

As a gen­er­al rule, the agree­ment stip­u­lates that a deci­sion upon the request to issue a visa must be tak­en with­in 10 cal­en­dar days. The agree­ment also reduces the visa han­dling fee from €60 to €35 for all Geor­gian cit­i­zens and pro­vide a total exemp­tion from the visa fee for cer­tain cat­e­gories of appli­cants, e.g. close rel­a­tives who are vis­it­ing Geor­gian cit­i­zens resid­ing in the EU, pen­sion­ers, chil­dren below the age of 12, dis­abled per­sons, sci­en­tists, stu­dents and jour­nal­ists.

Fol­low­ing the man­date giv­en by the Coun­cil on 28 Novem­ber 2008, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion start­ed the nego­ti­a­tions of the visa facil­i­ta­tion agree­ment with Geor­gia and sub­mit­ted its pro­pos­al for a deci­sion on the sign­ing of the agree­ment to the Coun­cil on 5 May 2010.

Visa facil­i­ta­tion agree­ments go usu­al­ly hand-in-hand with read­mis­sion agree­ments between the EU and third coun­tries. The read­mis­sion agree­ment with Geor­gia is expect­ed to be signed with­in the fol­low­ing weeks. Both, the visa facil­i­ta­tion and the read­mis­sion agree­ments will enter into force on the same day.

Read­mis­sion agree­ments set out clear oblig­a­tions and pro­ce­dures for the author­i­ties of EU mem­ber states and the third coun­tries con­cerned as to when and how to take back peo­ple who are ille­gal­ly resid­ing on the ter­ri­to­ries of the par­ties. They cov­er not only the ille­gal­ly stay­ing nation­als of both par­ties but also third coun­try nation­als and state­less per­sons being in an irreg­u­lar sit­u­a­tion pro­vid­ed they have a clear link with the request­ed par­ty (e.g. visa or res­i­dent per­mit). Full respect of Human Rights as pro­vid­ed by the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion of Human Rights is guar­an­teed dur­ing the appli­ca­tion of read­mis­sion agree­ments.

So far, the EU has signed visa facil­i­ta­tion and read­mis­sion agree­ments with eight coun­tries: Alba­nia, Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina, For­mer Yugoslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FYROM), the Repub­lic of Moldo­va, Mon­tene­gro, Rus­sia, Ser­bia and Ukraine. Nego­ti­a­tions are ongo­ing with Cape Verde.

Source:
Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →