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Southern Caucasus

The relationship between the EU and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) is framed by Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs). Better management of migration and combating criminal activities remain priorities, supported by EU financial and technical assistance.

Mobility

While a Mobility Partnership with Georgia was signed in November 2009 and launched in February 2010, negotiations are ongoing with Armenia.

Visa facilitation and readmission

The EU-Georgia visa facilitation agreement and readmission agreement entered into force in March 2011. The European Commission is preparing for negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Increased cooperation

Negotiations started in 2010 with the three South Caucasus countries on the signature of Association Agreements, which represent the most advanced category of cooperation between the EU and non-EU countries. Formal dialogue takes place through annual Cooperation Councils and Cooperation Committees. A Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security has also been established with Georgia (2008), Armenia and Azerbaijan (2010), which is the forum for discussions on Home Affairs.

European Neighbourhood Policy

Southern Caucasus countries have been covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since its inception in 2004. Since 2006, an ENP Action Plan has been adopted for each of these countries, within which enhanced cooperation on Home Affairs is identified as a priority. These Action Plans include substantive Home Affairs elements, i.e. border management, migration, the fight against organised crime and corruption and police cooperation.

All three Southern Caucasus countries are also part of the Eastern Partnership, established in 2009, which aims at deepening and broadening relations between the EU and six Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

Financial assistance

Financial Assistance is a major component of EU cooperation with Southern Caucasus countries. Such assistance is provided through an array of instruments, the most important of which is the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Of particular importance in the area of Home Affairs is the assistance provided through the Thematic Programme on Cooperation with Third Countries in the areas of Migration and Asylum and the European Instrument on Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

At regional level, the major EU funded programme in the area of Home Affairs is the Southern Caucasus Integrated Border Management programme (SCIBM), which was agreed in October 2007 and implemented as of March 2010 by a consortium led by UNDP. The programme (EUR 6 million) focuses on capacity building and training, with the bulk of activities carried out both at bilateral (Armenia-Georgia and Azerbaijan-Georgia) and national level.

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Glossary

Visa facilitation agreement

Agreements between the EU and a non-EU country that facilitate the issuance by an EU State of authorisations to ...

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Readmission agreement

International agreement that addresses procedures, on a reciprocal basis, for one State to return non-nationals...

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Readmission

Act by a State accepting the re-entry of an individual (own national, third-country national or stateless person).

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Mobility partnership

Provide the overall framework for managing various forms of legal movement between the EU and non-EU ...

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Migration

The movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border (international migration),...

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Corruption

The abuse of power for private gain (in both the public and the private sector).

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