EUROPE POLITICS: Lawmakers Want Visas Imposed on Americans

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By Politicoscope March 3, 2017 14:03

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European Parliament called on the EU executive to force Americans to apply for visas before visiting Europe this summer, stepping up pressure to resolve a long-running transatlantic dispute on the issue.

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EUROPE POLITICS: Lawmakers Want Visas Imposed on Americans

The European Parliament called on the EU executive on Thursday to force Americans to apply for visas before visiting Europe this summer, stepping up pressure to resolve a long-running transatlantic dispute on the issue.

The European Commission stressed it was pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the row, leaving it unlikely that it would act on the vote by lawmakers setting a May deadline to impose visas – a move that could hurt Europe’s tourism sector.

Washington refuses to grant visa-free access to people from four east European states and Cyprus, while those from the other 23 member states can enter using the U.S. visa waiver program. EU rules call for equal treatment for all Union citizens.

Commission officials noted a planned EU-U.S. ministerial meeting on June 15 to try and resolve the issue, which has been running since 2014. The EU executive already allowed a deadline for a solution to pass nearly a year ago, without taking action.

“We will report on further progress made before the end of June and continue to work closely with both the European Parliament and the Council,” a Commission spokeswoman said, referring to the council which groups the governments of the 28 EU member states.

A Commission official said contacts are ongoing with the U.S. administration “to push for full visa reciprocity,” but fell short of saying that immediate action would be taken.

Former Communist countries Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, have been calling on Brussels to end U.S. discrimination against their citizens.

But the economic cost of imposing visa restrictions on the millions of American tourists and business travelers who visit Europe each year is a major disincentive.

Most EU countries are part of the Schengen zone that allows people to travel freely inside Europe without passport checks.

The Parliament, by a show of hands, urged the Commission to adopt restrictive measures against U.S. citizens “within two months”. Lawmakers have little immediate power to ensure that the executive complies with such demands.

Canada also imposes visa requirements on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, but it has announced that they will be lifted in December.

– Reuters


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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 3, 2017 14:03

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Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help

There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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