GEO

Georgia has implemented a large portion of the EU requirements, TI Georgia's new interim report finds

16 October, 2013


The report published by Transparency International Georgia evaluates the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which was handed over to the Government of Georgia on 25 February 2013. The interim report presents the monitoring results of implementation of the first two blocks by the Georgian side as of August-September 2013. The following research only pertains to the first phase i.e. the legislative reform, as Georgia has not yet embarked upon the active implementation phase.

The monitoring of the implementation of the EU-Georgia Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation revealed that Georgia has implemented a large portion of the EU requirements. However, many issues remain that require reforms.

Currently, out of 11 EU requirements, Georgia implemented four requirements fully, one was mostly implemented, five – half implemented – five, and one – not implemented.

Block 1. Document security, including biometrics

Action Plan Requirement #1

Consolidation of the legal and institutional framework ensuring the integrity and security of the civil status and civil registration process, including the registration of all Georgian citizens in a unified and secure electronic population registry, with adequate safeguards as far as highest data protection standards are concerned.

Implementation of the Requirement: Mostly Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #2

Consolidation of the legal and institutional framework for the issuing of machine readable biometric passports in full compliance with highest ICAO standards and recommended practices on the basis of secure identity management (civil registry and breeder documents), according to the one person one document principle, including as regards diplomatic and service passports.

Implementation of the Requirement: Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #3

Adoption of the clear timeframe for the complete rollout of biometric passports, including at Georgia’s consulates abroad, and for the complete phasing out of old non-ICAO compliant passports.

Implementation of the Requirement: Half Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #4

Adoption of an ethical code and training programs on anti-corruption, secure management of personal documents and data protection for officials of public authorities that deal with passports, identity cards and other breeder documents.

Implementation of the Requirement: Not Implemented

Block 2. Integrated border management, migration management, asylum

2.1. Integrated Border Management

Action Plan Requirement #1

Consolidation of the legal and institutional framework for border management, according to EU and international standards. Also guaranteeing efficient inter-agency cooperation between all the agencies involved in border management, in particular the Patrol Police Department, the Border Police and the Border Police Coast Guard.

Implementation of the Requirement: Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #2

Adoption of the national Integrated Border Management (IBM) Strategy and Action Plan, containing a timeframe and specific objectives for the further development of legislation, organisation, infrastructure, equipment, sufficient human and financial resources in the area of border management, as well as international cooperation.

Implementation of the Requirement: Half Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #3

Adoption of an ethical code and training programmes, including on anti-corruption and the fight against organised crime, respect for human rights, asylum procedures and anti-trafficking measures specifically targeting border guards, customs and any other officials involved in border management and/or surveillance.

Implementation of the Requirement: Implemented

2.2. Migration Management

Action Plan Requirement #1

Consolidation of the legal and institutional framework for migration policy, in line with EU and international standards, including in the field of legal/labour migration, measures supporting the integration of foreigners and the reintegration of Georgian citizens (returning voluntarily or not) and the fight against irregular migration (including continued efforts to conclude readmission agreements with main countries of origin and/or transit and inland detection of irregular migrants).

Implementation of the Requirement: Half Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #2

Adoption of a national Migration Strategy for effective implementation of the legal framework for migration policy and of a corresponding Action Plan, containing a timeframe, specific objectives, activities, results, performance indicators and provisions for sufficient human and financial resources.

Implementation of the Requirement: Implemented

Action Plan Requirement #3

Establishment of a mechanism for the monitoring of migration stocks and flows enabling the regular updating of Georgia’s Migration Profile, with a unified electronic database containing data on both irregular and legal migration, as well as on asylum seekers/refugees, and the establishment of bodies responsible for the effective collection and analysis of that data.

Implementation of the Requirement: Half Implemented

2.3. Asylum Policy

Action Plan Requirement # [1]

Consolidation, according to EU and international standards, of the legal and institutional framework for asylum policy, in full compliance with the principle of non-refoulement and comprising subsidiary protection, through adoption of legislation ensuring effective access to fair procedures for status determination, rights protection (freedom of movement, healthcare, education, other labour and social rights), durable solutions, including the integration of refugees or beneficiaries of other forms of international protection, as well as special attention to vulnerable groups.

Implementation of the Requirement: Half Implemented

Recommendations

For the Government to fully achieve the requirements of the Action Plan, we believe that it should take a set of recommendations into account. Namely, it is necessary that:

  1. The timeframe for the complete roll-out of biometric passports is clearly established;
  2. The ethical code and training programmes for anti-corruption, secure management of personal documents and protection of personal data for relevant civil servants are timely created;
  3. The establishment of the migration service is expedited, which will be responsible for collection and analysis of the data related to migrants, identifying irregular migrants, their detention and accommodation in relevant facilities.
  4. The Joint Decree of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories is adopted in a timely fashion;
  5. Instructions and internal directives are created by relevant agencies and officials, which will encompass the issues related to emergency [urgent] assistance to returning individuals;
  6. A position or agency is established which will be responsible for collecting information on labour markets of potential partner countries and for this reason the new form of circular migration fitting Georgia is created between Georgia and the EU States;
  7. The establishment of the authority responsible for professional training and recognition of professional skills;
  8. Putting in action of the unified electronic system of immigration is expedited;
  9. The establishment of unified analytical system is expedited, which comprises components of immigration and emigration and envisages combining the electronic databases of other agencies;
  10. The development of a structural unit in a competent body charged with adequate decision-making authority in relation to asylum seekers and analysis of countries of origin.

The report was prepared with the financial support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The views expressed in the report to not necessarily coincide with those of the donors, therefore neither OSGF nor Sida are responsible for the report's content.