How will migration crisis in EU affect Georgia's fight for visa-free regime?

How will migration crisis in EU affect Georgia's fight for visa-free regime?

The migration crisis in the EU could threaten the existence of the Schengen system, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said today.

According to him, "it is under threat today, unless there will be strict control of EU borders." "The Schengen Zone is under real threat now. The debates on Schengen do not make sense without substantial and effective border controls. If we want to ensure the security of the Schengen treaty, we need to ensure strict control of the borders. The absence of border control is an invitation to anyone who wants to come to Europe," TASS cited the head of the Hungarian Government.

According to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Georgian Republic to the EU, Natalie Sabanadze, the current immigration crisis in Europe could prevent Georgia from achieving a visa-free regime next year, which was promised earlier by a number of representatives of the national authorities.

The editor-in-chief of the Ekonimika Gruzii magazine, Emzar Dzhgerenaya, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the European Union is going through a difficult time now.

"The moods of the Europeans are quite sophisticated now, because migration to the EU has reached catastrophic proportions. But despite this, I think we will succeed in the decision on the introduction of a visa-free regime for Georgian citizens, because we have completed the task which the European Union gave Georgia," the expert summed up.

The head of the Center for Security Studies and International Relations of Georgia, Nika Chitadze, in his turn, said that Georgia has a separate agreement with the European Union, like a state which is a member of the Eastern Partnership program.

"Accordingly, one can say that in this case there are some standards for Georgia, but if the country will achieve a visa-free regime with the EU, Georgia would then have obligations to the EU under the readmission agreement, which provides for the liberalization of the visa regime. Of course, if Georgia meets the standards specified by the EU, I think that visa-free travel will be possible. Although, in addition to a visa it will require additional documents – a residency permit or a work visa. So the abolition of the visa regime is not a guarantee that citizens of Georgia could travel within the Schengen Zone without exception," Nika Chitadze suggested.

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