EU reaches suspension deal for granting visa-free travel to Ukrainians, Georgians

EU reaches suspension deal for granting visa-free travel to Ukrainians, Georgians
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has been banking on closer ties with the EU since the Yanukovych regime was ousted in 2014.
By bne IntelliNews December 8, 2016

Fifty million citizens of Ukraine and Georgia will soon be granted visa-free travel to the EU, it was reported on December 8 after union officials beat out agreements on the emergency suspension of the measure if needed during late night talks in Brussels.

However, the deal must still be formally approved by the member state ambassadors and the European Parliament, posing potential last-stage obstacles.

“This agreement is a balanced one, and it is extremely important for the effectiveness and credibility to the liberalisation policy of the EU’s visa regime,” Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said in a statement released after the talks.

The prospect of easier travel to Europe has helped the governments in Kyiv and Tbilisi to win public support for stringent EU-sponsored reforms. But after the refugee crisis of the past two years, critics say the move risks triggering an influx of people who may seek to stay illegally.

On behalf of the EU Council, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the EU (Coreper) approved the tools for reintroducing the visa requirement in certain circumstances, such as a spike in the number of asylum seekers or a surge in numbers of people staying illegally beyond the allowed three-month period. Visitors from the two former Soviet republics also do not receive working rights.

The move followed an agreement secured on November 24 by EU member states, according to which the two countries were deemed eligible for a visa-free regime with the bloc. Seven days earlier, the EU Council said the union will grant visa-free travel rights to Ukrainians and Georgians as it simultaneously adopts an emergency suspension mechanism for the scheme.

The current suspension mechanism is "not enough, and now it will be improved", Kalinak said. "At the same time, the fact that we have reached an agreement that should open the door for further progress in the liberalisation of the visa regime, negotiations with other countries that meet all the requirements," he added.

Forty-five million Ukrainians and five million Georgians will enjoy the new travel rights when introduced.

News

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss