At at 12 September joint press conference with Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Interior in Tbilisi, Nicole de Moor, the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, said the number of asylum applications from Georgia to Belgium has grown “significantly”, even though most of are turned down.
Secretary de Moor emphasized that while Belgium welcomes “Georgians who want to gather experience, study, or work in Belgium,” but explained that one of the reasons for her visit was to debunk the “fake news spreading on how to migrate to Belgium.”
“There are regular and irregular ways to migrate,” Secretary de Moor underscored. “It is fundamental that Georgians get the right information and migrate in a regular way so that there won’t be ugly surprises upon arrival in Belgium.” “It is a matter of protecting yourself from unexpected difficulties at the border or during your stay,” she explained.
Belgian official noted, that Georgia is considered ‘a safe country’ and thus the rate of successful asylum applications is very low. She also stressed, that asylum is never granted on economic grounds and that Georgians found to have entered illegally or to be staying in Belgium without permission, will be promptly deported.
Furthermore, according to the Secretary, asylum will never be granted to a seeker on economic grounds. Finally, she emphasized that if Georgians are found to have entered illegally or to be staying in Belgium without permission, they will be promptly deported.
Referring to the meeting with her Georgian counterpart, Secretary de Moor revealed that Georgia and Belgium have developed “an effective procedure, which may include a travel ban.”
She concluded saying, that “Georgia is developing quickly, I would recommend to young people to keep exploring local opportunities. There are opportunities here too and life in Belgium may not always be easy.”
Minister Gomelauri Meets with Secretary de Moor
Prior to the briefing, Secretary de Moor met the Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri, (MIA) to discuss issues related to visa-free travel of Georgian citizens in the European Union and the Schengen area, while emphasizing that “the political and practical importance of free movement with Europe in the process of European integration of Georgia.”
As part of the meeting, Secretary de Moor commended the Ministry’s efforts towards implementing the exit control mechanism, which aims to prevent the dishonest use of visa-free travel by Georgian citizens.
The two also examined bilateral cooperation in the field of law enforcement. As part of her visit, Secretary de Moor was expected to visit the Migration Department of the Internal Affairs Ministry and to make an on-site visit to the Tbilisi International Airport’s screening infrastructure.