Third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing EU external borders : - extracts from the report Agustin DIAZ DE MERA GARCIA CONSUEGRA (EPP, ES)

Type: News   Reference: 94400   Duration: 00:04:47  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 10/09/2013   First transmission: 10/09/2013
MEP's debated today on whether EU should be able to reintroduce visa requirements for countries that do not allow European citizens visa-free travel. The reciprocity principle put to debate aims to provide a solution to a situation where third countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free travel in the EU still refuse to return the favour. For example, the US still requires people from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania to obtain a visa before they can travel there. MEPs have amended the European Commission's proposal for an update of the EU's visa regulation to beef up the "reciprocity mechanism", meaning that if a country outside the EU does not allow visa-free travel, then the EU will be allowed to reintroduce visa requirements for its citizens. The new rules would also enable the EU to temporarily reintroduce visa requirements in an emergency. The Commission added this at the request of member states concerned about major influxes of asylum seekers after visa requirements were lifted for citizens of some countries. However, S&D, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL called to vote against the proposal, insisting on the collateral consequences of such policy. MEP's insisted for instance on the result this could have in South Western Balkan countries, as in the name of this proposal authorities would be tempted to forbidding Roma citizens to travel to the EU, so to comply for EU requirements while their admission in the EU is at stake.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
00:00:00 TITLE : Third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing EU external borders : extracts from the report Agustin DIAZ DE MERA GARCIA CONSUEGRA (EPP, ES) 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Agustin DIAZ DE MERA GARCIA CONSUEGRA (EPP, ES) ; English translation : "Most of our efforts have been focused on coming up with a balanced response to the reciprocity and suspension questions. We need it to come up with some effective instruments based on solidarity which would not deteriorate external relationships between EU and third countries would provide a clear solidarity based response to those of our citizens who are facing discrimination in the international visa policy Clearly these mechanism will have repercussions on third countries but I think we need to protect ours EU citizens and seek solutions to the problems being faced by millions of citizens, wherever they come from : Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, the Czechs or Cypriots. This agreement comes up with those solutions and furthermore doesn't create conflicts with third countries." 00:00:47
00:00:57 SOUNDBITE (English) Neven MIMICA (European Commissioner for Consumer Policy) : "The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of tits proposal amending regulation number 539 of 2001, aiming at enhancing the credibility of the common visa policy and ensuring more solidarity among member states. However the Commission regrets that the powers conferred on the Commission with regard to the revised reciprocity mechanism are in the opinion of the Commission not in compliance with article 219and 291 of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU. The Commission therefore reserves the right to make use of the remedies available under the Treaty with the view to having this point clarified by the Court of Justice." 00:00:51
00:01:48 SOUNDBITE (French) Véronique MATHIEU HOUILLON (EPP, FR) : English translation : "This report allows us to have a better management of the European visa policy. So far we weren't equipped to deal with any new developments as a result of the grant of a visa waiver to a third country. Now we have European rules that dispose that we can have a collective reaction to the announce of a third state which is imposing visa requirements on citizens of certain European member states while we don't require visas for their citizens : in return we will be able to require visas to be imposed to the citizens of this third country. This reciprocity mechanism is crucial. It makes sense of pour European management of our borders, and gives shape to our common endeavour." 00:00:38
00:02:26 SOUNDBITE (French) Véronique MATHIEU HOUILLON (EPP, FR) : English translation : "We shouldn't be naive if the visa waiver for short stay is being exploited for irregular immigration, if it leads to excessive pressure on our asylum demand system, then it's normal that we should protect our European citizens and reinstate visa requirements." 00:00:14
00:02:40 SOUNDBITE (English) Tatjana ZDANOKA (Greens/EFA, LV) : "We are completely disappointed with this deal concerning temporary suspension of visa waiver. In the Greens-EFA group we do not agree that the increase in the number of the asylum applications could be a criteria for these suspensions. The nationals of a third country on the positive list should not be punished for the attempt of the nationals of the same country to use their individual rights to asylum, even if without a good reason." 00:00:34
00:03:14 SOUNDBITE (German) Cornelia ERNST (GUE/NGL, DE)´: English translation : "This regulation to be perfectly frank, changes the completion of visa policy in the EU, changes its very nature. What do I mean ? It's being transformed into an instrument for black-mail particularly for the countries of the Western Balkans, and if we are going to end up bolstering something, then that means that we will be bolstering solidarity between rich countries such as Germany, Austria. The suspension mechanism is a "Lex Roma", an anti-Roma law, let's us speak frankly. And what it is leading right now is that at the Serbian border any Roma or any-one that looks like he might come without any good reason is being sent back And that the bus companies, without any good reason, will not allow Roma to take coaches intended to travel abroad." 00:00:48
00:04:02 SOUNDBITE (English) Ioan ENCIU (S&D, RO) : "I must recall that the agreement which has been reached with the Council has the potential to put an end to an inacceptable situation of inequality with concerns millions of our fellow EU citizens in the EU visa policy with the USA and Canada. The reciprocity mechanism will provide an EU answer as an act of solidarity towards the citizens of Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Croatia who are discriminated in the visa policy.". 00:00:32
00:04:34 CUTAWYAS : 3 shots 00:00:13
00:04:47 END 00:00:00
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