European Parliament grants Georgia visa-free travel

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The European Parliament has approved a proposal on visa liberalisation for Georgia, allowing conditional visa-free travel for citizens of the small post-Soviet country.

The policy, which has a snap-back mechanism in case of mass violation of terms, was approved on Thursday with 553 votes in favour, 66 against and 28 abstentions.

The short-term travel visa waiver – expected to come into force in late March following formal approval by the European Council – applies to the Schengen area, which includes 26 countries.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the country’s prime minister, called it “a truly historic day”, expressing gratitude to the EU.

He also said the government was convinced that Georgians would show “exceptional responsibility in accepting this milestone result and achievement, and will scrupulously observe the laws of host countries.