The European Commission said in its new report that overall Georgia continues to meet the visa liberalization benchmarks and has taken action to address the Commission recommendations, but also unveiled further four-point list of recommendations Georgia should address.
The fourth assessment of the fulfillment of visa liberalization by the Commission, dated August 4, commended Georgia’s good cooperation with the Member States in the areas of security, on return and readmission as well as cooperation by exchanging information via police liaison officers (including with Austria, Belgium, Finland, Spain, and Sweden).
It also took note that as per the previous report, Georgia took actions to address the issue of unfounded asylum applications, and continued information campaigns on the rights and obligations of the visa-free travel with the EU.
The report said however that Georgia needs to make further efforts in four areas, including the unfounded asylum applications in the EU Member States, the efficiency of anti-corruption institutions, court and prosecution reform, and alignment of visa policy with the EU.
As regards to the unfounded asylum applications, the report said Georgian needs to address proactive measures, including by information campaigns. Noteworthy, in 2020, the number of applications for international protection in Member States decreased by 60% to 8,860 compared to 2019, albeit amid pandemic.
According to the report, Georgia should improve the efficiency of anti-corruption institutions and law enforcement agencies to better address the cases of high corruption.
The document also underlined the need to further Supreme Court reform by bringing the selection procedure for justices fully in line with Venice Commission recommendations and European Standards. It also stressed the need to finalize the prosecution reform, including by the separation of functions between investigators and prosecutors; to finalize the operational development of the Financial Intelligence Units and to continue efforts in the prevention and fight against organised crime, in particular against the laundering of profits from illegal activities.
Further, the document said Georgia should ensure further alignment of its visa policy with the EU lists of visa-required third countries.