Press conference by HRVP Federica MOGHERINI and Commissioner Johannes HAHN on European Neighbourhood Policy Review
Question: I’ve got a question concerning countries of the Eastern Partnership.. as we are heading to the Riga summit, do you think there is still a possibility for the announcement, that the EU will announce that it will abolish visa for the citizens of Ukraine and Georgia and if there is any possibility for the visa facilitation with Belarus?
Commissioner Hahn: Well, when it comes to all issues related to visa facilitation or visa liberalization issues, as a further step we apply.. certain methodology to assess the situation in different countries. For the time being there is currently assessment ongoing in Georgia of the second phase. We will see what will be the outcome; if we can already make or give a positive report as European Commission. But this is only the opinion of the European Commission. Afterwards we have to ask, to consult and to ask for the opinion and decision of the European Council on these issues. So, we are working on this; the same applies on Ukraine. And if it comes to Belarus, we will see what is possible in terms of visa facilitation.
HR Mogherini: Fully sharing what commissioner Hahn just said. The assessment is going to be based on technical assessment but politically, obviously the decision both in the commission and then in the council have to be taken. We will start discussing the perspectives of the Riga summit already this afternoon with the group of commissioners that have an external portfolio. And then on Friday and Saturday in Riga itself at the informal ministerial meeting of the foreign ministers. Because obviously we have the technical assessment ongoing and then we also have the issue of political decision and political messages of the summit that we have to prepare carefully because it comes at difficult and crucial time of our history.