Georgia lights up in EU colors celebrating visa liberalization
03 February, 2017
Georgian citizens will be able to enter the EU without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by the Parliament on Thursday, - Official website of European Parliament reports.

The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the Council and will only enter into force once the suspension mechanism - which allows the temporary reintroduction of visas in the event of migration surges or risks to public security - is in place.

Parliament´s rapporteur for the
proposal, Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG), acknowledged the “broad and complex reforms” carried out by Georgia in order to get the visa waiver and thanked the country´s authorities and citizens for their consistency and patience. She also congratulated them on the strength of their democratic conviction and noted that the visa exemption brings the country closer to the EU.
Under the visa exemption, endorsed in plenary by 553 votes to 66 with 28 abstentions, Georgians who hold a biometric passport will have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work.

Tbilisi has complied with all the benchmarks of its visa liberalization plan, the text notes, underlining that “continuous fulfillment by Georgia of such criteria, especially on the fight against organized crime, will be duly monitored by the Commission”.

The visa waivers apply to all EU member states (except Ireland and the UK), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, - The reports reads.

This extremely positive decision by EU parliament has pleased whole nation, from ordinary citizens to the high officials of the country. Due to this event, the main landmarks of country’s regions, cities and capital Tbilisi were illuminated in the colors of EU. The EU flag was projected onto the Tbilisi TV Broadcaster Tower, Bridge of Peace, medieval towers in Svaneti as well as other important monuments in Georgia.
Tbilisi TV Broadcaster Tower. Photo courtesy of Shermazana
Bridge of Peace

Related stories:

EU Parliament backs Georgia’s visa liberalization

Countries where Georgian citizens will enjoy visa free travel

Georgian PM: “Congratulations! This is a truly historic day!”

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