European Integration

The Myth that Visa Liberalization Applies Only to Privileged Group is Misleading

11 August, 2014

Visa free regime with the EU will allow the citizens of Georgia to move freely within the Schengen countries.  In particular, each Georgian citizen will be allowed on the basis of ID document to freely move within the Schengen area, cross air, sea or ground borders and stay there for three months.  

Visa free entry into the Schengen countries shall facilitate social and economic integration with Europe, strengthen academic, cultural and business ties and facilitate relations between the people.  

The Schengen area includes 22 states of EU, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. At present EU has visa free regime with 41 countries.  

Illegal Migration

Visa free regime shall apply only to Georgian citizens. EU pays special attention to the prevention of illegal migration and control of the numbers of those seeking asylum. Therefore, foreigners in Georgia may not enter EU without proper legal ground.  

In September of 2013, the European Parliament adopted a regulation which under certain circumstances provides for temporary restriction on free movement for the citizens of those countries with which EU has visa free regime. The regulation provides for suspension of visa free regime, which means that if from any given country there is a sharp increase in illegal migration, which may threaten security in EU countries, EU may trigger this mechanism and temporarily suspend visa free movement with the particular country. 

Employment 

Visa free regime with EU includes free movement within Schengen area and stay for three months, but it does not include right of work. Therefore, visa free regime will not result in permitting the Georgian workforce to be employed in EU. Employment issues are regulated under the laws of EU member countries. At the same time, visa liberalization with EU includes implementation of particular programs, which will enable citizens of Georgia to take internships in EU to raise professional qualifications, to prepare for disciplines that are under high demand and receive certifications complying with EU standards.   

There are works going on in Georgia that intend to study particular EU markets, so to identify those occupations/professions on which there is demand in EU countries and where Georgia, on the basis of bilateral agreement, may present its certified candidates. This is called circular migration, which is a significant component for prevention of illegal migration.   

Nino Samvelidze

Source of the Myth: 

Asaval-Dasavali, 19-25 May 

Hamlet Tchipashvili, political expert: "Nobody should believe the stories as if someone will allow us to have visa free regime! This regime will benefit only particular categories of individuals and not our neighbor aunt Marta, who will not be allowed to enter EU”.  

Asaval-Dasavali, 30 June – 6 July 

Nana Devdariani, former Ombudsman: "The majority of Georgiansthink that because we signed the Association Agreement, from tomorrow visa free movement with EU will start and in short term we will become EU members…

Thanks to harmful policies of Saakashvili’s government, there are lots of people entering Georgia from Asian and African countries, who try to enter EU territory through our country. Now what you think, they are crazy in EU to allow visa liberalization with Georgia in such circumstances?! 

 

... Imagine workforce entering EU territory through Georgia, which will agree to work on far cheaper salary, won’t they make the local workforce to lose their jobs?!  This will not be allowed by any European country!”