Extracts from the joint press conference by Antonio Tajani and Cecilia Malmström on a visa policy to spur economic growth
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 07/11/2012 First transmission: 07/11/2012
On 7 November 2012, Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs, gave a joint press conference in Brussels to present a Communication adopted on the same day and which examines how the implementation and development of the common visa policy could help growth in the EU by facilitating travel opportunities for third country nationals willing to visit the EU.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs, and Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, to the press conference at the European Commission in Brussels
||Soundbite by Cecilia Malmström (in ENGLISH): Yet markets estimate that 21% of potential tourists refrain from going to EU because it is complicated to get a visa. And according to Tourism Economics estimates, EU Schengen area could gain up to 46 millions tourists by 2015 if the flexibility in the current rules was fully exploited. And this could generate lot of incomes, new jobs and additional tourists coming to us as well. There are estimates that could generate up to 500 000 additional jobs related to the tourism sector. This is why we need to do much more in the short term and in the long term to attract legitimate travellers to the EU while of course, ensuring the security of our borders and respecting the integrity of the Schengen system.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Cecilia Malmström (in ENGLISH): Many obstacles can be removed. For instance, consulates should reinforce the 15-day deadline for granting an appointment, the 15-day deadline for a decision on the visa application and make sure that all the papers are there in the relevant languages. There is also room for further improvement on issuing multiple entry visas. In the long term, we are now exploiting possible changes to the Visa Code in order to streamline and to shorten the procedures to clarify the definition of the competent consulate for processing and to simplify the application and the supporting documents requirments.
||Soundbite by Antonio Tajani, (in FRENCH) saying that, today, he wants to underline the importance of the decision on the visas. Because for the first time, they are working on visa policy not only regarding security but also regarding the economic impact of visas' freedom by trying to increase the number of tourists from China, Russia, South America and other countries where visas are compulsory.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Cecilia Malmström (in ENGLISH): We are also finally announcing good news for citizens of 16 Caribbean and Pacific Island Nations that will be soon able to travel visa free to the Schengen area. 5 Caribbean Island nations, 11 Pacific Island Nations and nationals for one of these will no longer require a visa for a short stay to EU if she or he is in possession of a passport if it is for tourism, personal or business purposes.
||Cutaway of a camera