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Europe is slightly opening the door2010-03-17 17:03
Recently, Tbilisi received good news from Brussels. According to Permanent Chairman of European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the visa regime facilitation and readmission agreements may be signed between EU and Georgia in summer. The West believes that Georgia has become the first Transcaucasian country that has successfully completed negotiations on both agreements with Europe. How will the realization of these documents affect the flow of the Georgian migrants to the European countries?
The visa regime facilitation and readmission agreements between the Georgian government and European Union were initialed last November. President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili believes that these documents serve as an indicator of the close integration and rapprochement between the republic and Europe.
The preparation and realization of both agreements between EU and Georgia is going on in the context of the Eastern Partnership initiative, which includes 27 states of the European Union and six former Soviet republics: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Byelorussia, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine. However, certain difficulties emerged before the official establishment of the Eastern Partnership. The republics were too much inspirited by the idea of the visa-free traveling to Europe and insisted upon the realization of this item of Partnership in the nearest future. European Union was not satisfied with the situation. Many EU countries also spoke against it so that the six participating countries were referred to as "European countries" in the final document, so long as such wording gives them a certain hope to gain the European Union membership in future.
Nevertheless, the "selected six" found its supporters in EU: they are the republics of the former USSR that have already got into European Union. It was, for instance, Lithuania, which has called upon Brussels to use all the means and instruments provided by the Eastern Partnership program - an association of the free trade agreement and visa regime liberalization with Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine.
However, Brussels has more than once stated that EU is going to help Georgia and other countries to get ready for an associated agreement. "We offer new opportunities but Georgia must help itself, - Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Union Commissioner for Foreign Relations and Neighbouring Policy has warned. - If Tbilisi takes the right decisions we will be there to help it in every step". According to the diplomat, Brussels is conducting the policy of providing assistance to Georgia but it reckons to get the "right behavior" in response.