Visa Liberalization Process in EaP Countries

Visa Liberalization Process in EaP Countries

CESD is part of visa facilitation process in Eastern Partnership countries

Batory Foundation (Poland), Visa Free Europe Coalition together with local partners realized its last quarterly report on visa facilitation. The liberalisation of the European Union visa regime is one of the priorities of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative covering Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Achieving visa-free travel for short-term trips between the EU and its Eastern neighbours is important not only for the Eastern Partnership states, but also the European Union. Visa-free regime is not only about helping people-to-people contacts, boosting economic, cultural, scientific cooperation, promoting exchange of knowledge, know-how and ideas, the importance of which cannot be overestimated.

All the required criteria and benchmarks are set out in the documents prepared by the European Commission known as Visa Liberalisation Action Plans (VLAP). Right now, three out of six EaP states have been granted such Action Plans: Moldova and Ukraine in 2011, and Georgia in 2013. However, the main criteria for all the countries are similar. Whereas, all the six EaP countries are implementing reforms in the key policy areas, including Belarus, which does not have official cooperation with the EU on visa policy. For these reasons it is possible to monitor the situation in every country according to a common methodology, including one set of criteria and benchmarks.

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