IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EC publishes progress reports on the implementation of Visa Liberalisation Action Plans by Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia
Ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius Summit on 28-29 November the Commission has issued three progress reports on the implementation by Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia of their respective Visa Liberalisation Action Plans (VLAP), a press release from the EC says.
It reports that regarding the Republic of Moldova the Commission considers that it meets all the benchmarks set in the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP.
Taking into account overall relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova, the Commission will therefore consider, immediately following the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit, presenting a legislative proposal to lift visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport - amending EC Regulation 539/2001 - in accordance with the agreed methodology under the VLAP.
'The assessment found that Ukraine has made substantial progress in all four blocks of the VLAP and in particular since the end of 2012, speeding up its implementation and adopting a number of substantial legislative packages in order to tackle the identified gaps. However, there are still some important first phase requirements to be met', a press release says.
The first report on implementation of the Action Plan by Georgia concludes that Georgia has made very good progress during the first few months.
"I wish to congratulate the Moldovan authorities for their steadfast commitment and considerable efforts during the last three years. The progress achieved will pave the way for a Commission proposal aiming at allowing visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. This is very good news for citizens and a very tangible element towards a closer political association and economic integration with the EU. It is also an encouragement for other Eastern partners who seek to achieve the same goal", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
"I also wish to congratulate Ukraine and Georgia for their progress. Ukraine is very close to moving to the second, practical stage of the implementation of the Action Plan, and Georgia has made a very good progress during these first few months of the implementation of its Action Plan", Malmström added.