Talks on visa free travel to the EU with Eastern European partners 28.11.2012

                 Talks on visa free travel to the EU with Eastern European partners 

 November 22 the delegation made up of officials from the Eastern Partnership, Western Balkan states and Poland  visited Georgia to negotiate visa liberalization issues with Georgian colleagues.
The meeting  hosted by Courtyard Marriot Hotel, November 22 
The meeting was organized by The Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development with support of Open Society Georgia Foundation.
Participants  considered opportunities for visa-free travel to the EU and the experience Western Balkan states have gathered in this direction.
The coalition, which is made up of organizations from Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia considered Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP) monitoring issues and the coalition strategy. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will hand over the VLAP to the government of Georgia in early December 2012.
The action plans have been already handed over to Moldova and Ukraine. NGOs from the two countries have been already monitoring the document. The participant considered efficient monitoring techniques for VLAP. A policy brief  prepared following the meeting. The coalition plans to launch the monitoring of the VLAP implementation right after it is handed over to Georgia. Handing over VLAP to Georgia is considered an important step towards visa-free travel to the EU. 

The list of organizations to take part in the meeting is as follows:

* Europe without Barriers, a Ukrainian NGO,
* the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland),
* The Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (Moldova),
*  The Caucasus Institute for Peace, Development and Democracy (Georgia),
* The Center for Economic and Social Development (Azerbaijan),
*  Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (Armenia),
* PASOS (the Policy Association for an Open Society – the Czech Republic),
* Georgian government officials,
* Officials of the consulates of Schengen Area states,
* Representatives of the International Organization for Migration
* The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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