Extracts from the press conference by Franco Frattini, on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
In the margins of the EP Plenary Session, Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security, gave a press conference on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
He told journalists that the European Commission endorsed his proposal to recommend to the 27 Member States to start negotiations with the US on the visa waiver programme which would allow all European citizens, including those from the new Member States, to travel to the US without visa.
He took the decision to clarify the situation and to propose a paper with some guidelines leading all the Member States to negotiate on a bilateral basis with the US only on areas that fall outside the European responsibility and competence.
The Czech Republic has already signed a document with the United States outlining an eventual visa-waiver deal. But the agreement was criticized by those who fear the US could demand more information from European states that they are legally allowed to give. SHOTLIST