European Commission evaluates visa liberalization process in Georgia
European Union published a report on visa free travel functioning in West Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, former Yugoslavia republic Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and Eastern Partnership (Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine) countries. According to the report, the above countries continue fulfilment of visa liberalization requirements, however, the necessity to act still exists in some of the fields to ensure their long-term and sustainable implementation.
European Union states that more actions are needed to combat corruption and organized crime.
As regards to fighting against corruption and money laundering, the report states that most of all Moldova needs immediate actions to ensure long-term implementation of visa liberalization actions and sustainability of the implemented reforms.
“Taking into consideration the recent events, Ukraine has to immediately act to take the anti-corruption measures introduced in the course of previous reforms and ensure further progress”, - reads the report.
As regards to Georgia, it is said in the report that in 2016, the rate of illegal stays of Georgian citizens in European countries has reduced by 3% compared to 2015 and last year 5,240 such cases were registered. Besides, last year, the rate of rejected enters to the EU has reduced by 39% and 810 such cases were registered.
The report states that Georgia is still on the list of the non-EU member countries, citizens of which are most frequently involved in criminal actions on EU territory, particularly in France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Spain. Besides, Georgia is still a transit countries for drug trafficking and smuggling other illegal goods.
“I appreciate Georgia’s efforts to retain the achieved progress and achieve results by reforms, however, additional efforts are necessary. I call the Georgian government for keeping on awareness campaign on visa free travel rules, immediately put in action the cooperation agreement with Europol, strengthen transboundary law enforcement measures and legal cooperation. Also, Georgia needs to intensively implement the measures against money laundering, envisaged by the legislation”, - stated the EГ Сommissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.