Is Georgia one step away from liberalization of visas?
Even though the fact that the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament approved the visa liberalization for Georgia is a good sign, considering difficult situation with the migration crisis in Europe and contradictions between the EU countries, caused by it, it is unlikely that visas will be abolished in the near future, experts Nana Devdariani and Ramaz Sakvarelidze said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
Nana Devdariani, head of the Center for Global Studies, noted that it was just a necessary stage, without which further actions cannot be taken. "On the other hand, if we look at recent results of the elections, in Germany, for example, which ended with a victory of Eurosceptics and people who are against migration flows, it becomes clear that this will be a pretty painful process. The fact is that Europe can no longer cope with migrants, all higher members of the European Union and the European Council in particular say this. Like Donald Tusk, who, made a statement on this matter yesterday," she said.
"Liberalization of visas itself is very useful for citizens of any country. But right now every European country thinks about how will it make life difficult for them," she explained.
Georgian political scientist Ramaz Sakvarelidze also noted that for Tbilisi, this step can be seen as a political argument that Western countries agreed to the introduction of visa-free regime with Georgia.
However, the expert expressed doubt that the liberalization of visas will be implemented before the end of the year. "European countries have a lot of problems associated with migration, and it will be hard to adopt visa-free regime with Georgia until they resolve them. They told this many times, and it is nothing not surprising, especially considering the events that happen on the international arena. That is why I think it will take about a year," he noted.
Commenting on possible disagreements on the issue of the liberalization of visas with Georgia, he confirmed that some time ago various countries' positions actually hindered this decision. "But now representatives of those countries are in this committee [the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament]. So if they had the same position as before, this issue would have probably remained at the level of this commitee," he concluded.