European lawmakers in Brussels have voted in favor of canceling the Visa Waiver Program for U.S. citizens based on a regulation that requires reciprocal action with all EU countries.
Currently the United States and Canada still require some E.U. Member countries to apply for visas since these do not fulfill the requirements for Visa Waiver Travel set by the U.S. and Canada.
This week the European Parliament voted in favor if ending visa free travel at least for U.S. citizens which is however a non-binding resolution (for now).
The first time this matter came up was roughly a year ago and we also wrote about it here on LoyaltyLobby (access our previous article here). Since then Canada has made some progress in allowing additional countries (Bulgaria & Romania) to enter visa free but the U.S. has not implemented any changes.
Yesterday The Independent (access here) reported about the E.U. vote that was a year in the making.
The European Parliament has voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.
It comes after the US failed to agree visa-free travel for citizens of five EU countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – as part of a reciprocity agreement. US citizens can normally travel to all countries in the bloc without a visa.
The vote urges the revocation of the scheme within two months, meaning Americans will have to apply for extra documents for 12 months after the European Commission implements a “delegated act” to bring the change into effect.
The Commission discovered three years ago that the US was not meeting its obligations under the reciprocity agreement but has not yet taken any legal action. The latest vote, prepared by the civil liberties committee and approved by a plenary session of parliament, gives the Commission two months to act before MEPs can consider action in the European Court of Justice. …
The Commission is legally obliged to act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, but the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union have the chance to object to the “delegated act” it uses to do so.
If the E.U. cancels the Visa Waiver program it’s almost guaranteed that the U.S. will retaliate. This is completely out of control and pretty much the nuclear option to spoil travel for all European Citizens.
The E.U. already messed up their relationship with China due to the difficulties applying for Schengen Visas. to the point where it is a pain for EU citizens to get Chinese tourist visas while U.S. and Canadian citizens can apply for a 10 year visa at little cost.
At the same time E.U. border security is pretty much non-existent with a constant flow of Migrants from North Africa and the Middle East streaming into the country. One has to ask the obvious question if it’s really the right time to push for this issue before cleaning at our own doorstep. Talk about worrying about the wrong issues here.
This is pretty much the cost of expansion of the European Union. They took in more and more countries with a very poor economic structure that do contribute very little to the community while their demographics are posing a certain risk when it comes to safety and security. I don’t see why other countries such as the U.S. or Canada should take the E.U. decision “they are good enough” at face value and allow all these people into their country without a visa – especially nowadays.
It would probably be better to apply resources in another way and start working with the Chinese to simplify their Visa Application process considering the amount of money that Chinese tourists spend while vacationing in Europe. There is very little to no risk that Chinese citizens would even want to immigrate illegally to Europe (again, especially in times like these) so why burden them with overly complicated requirements and at the same time alienate E.U. citizens requiring a visa for China? Politics…