EU considers important safe movement of people in facilitated visa regime
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 16 /Trend, E.Ostapenko/
Facilitation of the visa regime that is stipulated in the association agreement envisages simplifying procedures for obtaining visas, reducing number of required documents, visa cost, preference for youth and students, head of the European Union delegation on negotiations on association agreement, John Kjaer, told journalists in Baku on July 16.
The question of cancelling visas between the EU and Azerbaijan is not a topic of discussions yet, he said.
Kjaer considers the important point of negotiations not only to facilitate the movement of people, but to ensure good and safe conditions for such movement.
This week, the first round of negotiations is conducted on the Association Agreement with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Agreement is based on joint commitment to develop common values and cover a wide range of areas, including political dialogue, justice, freedom and security, as well as issues of trade and cooperation.
Kjaer heads the EU delegation, which arrived in Baku on July 16 to discuss the Association Agreement with Azerbaijan. The department, headed by Kjaer, functions under the European Neighbourhood Policy, and covers the countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, particularly Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.
The Association Agreement envisages creating free trade zones. However, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said according to the requirements of the European Union, the pretender country must be a member of the WTO for participation in the zone. Azerbaijan still has observer status in the organization.
"Of course, the EU partner countries should approximate their legislation to EU standards and fulfill several requirements, including membership to the WTO," said Kjaer. As long as Azerbaijan is not a member of the WTO, to start talks on establishing a comprehensive free trade zone is impossible," he said. However, it must be taken into account that Azerbaijan's cooperation with the WTO has been continuing for a long time.
According to Kjaer, the EU takes into account the potential membership of Azerbaijan in the future, and also based on an existing agreement on partnership and cooperation, and considers it possible to raise to a higher level the relations with Azerbaijan in this sphere.
Azerbaijan cooperates with the EU on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation. The signing of the association agreement with Europe will become for Azerbaijan a tool to establish free trade and movement of people.
According to Kjaer, Azerbaijan must undertake a number of activities within the negotiations on signing Association Agreement. For its part, the EU will be watching how they will be implemented. For this purpose, the EU will strive to conduct a constructive dialogue with the government, he said.
"The most important thing is that the negotiating process has begun. It's an ambitious plan that requires a great impact of both sides - both from Azerbaijan and the EU," said Kjaer, noting that time is needed to achieve results.