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The European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution calling on Brussels to force Americans to apply for visas before visiting Europe unless Washington adheres to a visa reciprocity policy and stops discriminating against eastern EU citizens.

The resolution, passed by a show of hands, demands equal treatment and reciprocity for all EU citizens from Washington as the US continues to refuse visa-free access to people from Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania, along with Cyprus. Other 23 EU member states can enter the US using the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP).

EU lawmakers vote to scrap visa-free travel for Americans to Europe




The European lawmakers urged the EU Commission to adopt the necessary legal measures “within two months” to limit American visa-free travel to Europe.

“The EU Commission is legally obliged to take measures temporarily reintroducing visa requirements for US citizens, given that Washington still does not grant visa-free access to nationals of five EU countries,” the EU parliament said in a press release.

The violation of VWP was first reported in April 2014, when the European Commission was notified that five countries, including the US, were not meeting their obligations to allow all EU nationals visa-free entry. American nationals, however, are still allowed to enter the EU without obtaining a visa.

Brussels notified Washington of the violation on April 12, 2014, and gave the US a choice to amend the practice within 24 months. As of now, the restrictions by the Americans are still in place.




If the US does not lift visa barriers by April, the Commission is required to act and suspend the visa waiver for US nationals for 12 months, unless either parliament or the EU Council object.

Prior to Thursday’s vote, the European Travel Commission (ETC) warned that placing visa restrictions on America will have a negative impact on the EU’s economy.

“We are very concerned about the economic and political impact of a suspension of visa waiver for US nationals,” Eduardo Santander, executive director of the ETC, said in a letter to MEPs.

Source:

https://www.rt.com/news/379274-eu-parliament-us-visa-reciprocity/

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