Simple Visa Regime and Obligations before the EU
03 March, 2011

“Return of such large mass of emigres will result in catastrophic consequences”


From 1 March onward the EU-Georgia agreement on visa facilitation has entered into force. The Georgian Authorities state that this is one more step towards European integration. Though, public has certain alternative thoughts on this matter. Many believe that the new rules will generate negative results.
“This is a distinct political sign that the EU remains loyal to the political direction chosen in relation to Georgia. Relations between the

European Union and Georgia will develop further. The Georgian side welcomes simplification of visa regime,” – noted Nino Kalandadze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, while commenting the start of the launch of the facilitation agreement signed by Georgia and the European Union. According to Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian side had been looking forward to this remarkable moment for long time. Georgian citizens will definitely feel positive effects of the new visa regime which is supposed to help intensify daily relations of Georgia with European countries.
Here one more thing merits a grabber. This simplified visa regime is coupled with re-admission conditionality. In other words, Georgia assumed specific integral responsibilities. Namely, Georgia is now supposed to receive illegal emigrants who entered the EU from Georgia and ensure a temporary shelter for them, as well as covering other expenses till proper identification of the deportees. Francois Massoulie, Head of Economic, Political and Press Section of the EU Delegation to Georgia explained that Georgia and 25 EU member states assume responsibility to transfer back anyone originating from their territories. For instance, if a French national is found to stay in Georgia illegally, France would have to assist him or her return to France. In the same way, the Georgian Government would be obliged to accept illegal Georgian emigrants from any of the 25 EU states.
“We hope that the agreement would be more like a preventive instrument, and that citizens who want to penetrate into any EU country illegally will change their mind knowing that they would face imminent extradition,” – noted the EU representatives.
Simplification of the visa regime received positive feedback from Nino Tskhoidze, Ombudsman of Resistance Movement in Emigration Issues. However, she says the agreement has a downside too, downplayed by our Authorities. Re-admission may open a floodgate. A sea of illegal Georgian citizens may swarm the country in a short time, while no preparation could offset such a grave scenario. The Government must ensure that at least those Georgian citizens who haven jobs are not subject to deportation. The illegal emigrants need to be returned only after generation of employment opportunities,” – she concludes.

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