European Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by the Eastern Partnership countries

On 19 December, the European Commission reported on its assessment of the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation benchmarks by a number of countries, including several in the Eastern Partnership region: Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Other countries covered by the report include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

This annual report shows that the visa liberalisation requirements for the concerned countries continue to be met, but that action in some cases immediate is required for a number of countries in specific areas to ensure this continues to be the case.

The report follows on from the Commission's recommendations of December 2017 and takes stock of the measures implemented by the concerned countries in the past year.

According to the report, all eight countries have taken measures to address irregular migration, however further efforts are needed to improve and ensure sustainable results:

Irregular migration from Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU remains high, while the increasing number of unfounded asylum applications in the EU from Moldovan and Georgian citizens is a source of concern. More work is needed to ensure full alignment with EU visa policy. Cooperation on readmission and return continues smoothly for all concerned countries.

Despite measures taken to fight organised crime, further reinforced efforts are needed from all eight countries. Immediate action as regards corruption is required from Moldova and Ukraine, the report said.

Read the Commissions Second Report under the Visa Suspension Mechanism at the following link.

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