02:07 GMT +327 April 2018
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    People wave the flags of Georgia (R) and the European Union (L) during celebrations for the signing of an association agreement with the EU in Tbilisi on June 27, 2014

    EU Parliament Committee Approves Vise-Free Regime With Georgia

    © AFP 2018 / VANO SHLAMOV
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    The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament on Thursday approved visa-free access to the bloc for Georgia.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The visa-free regime was approved with 42 "yes" votes and two against, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from Brussels.

    The proposal for the visa waiver for Georgia was issued by the European Commission on March 9, 2016, since the country met the conditions for the visa requirement exemption. On July 7, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs also recommended to grant visa-free travel to the residents of Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo. The process was then delayed by negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the visa suspension mechanism.

    In December 2016, the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission reached an agreement on an emergency suspension mechanism to be triggered in case of overwhelming migration. Such an agreement has been among the conditions raised by the Council for the liberalization of the visa regime for Ukraine and Georgia.

    Thursday's home affairs committee vote will now have to be approved by the majority of the European Parliament lawmakers.

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