Wednesday

5th Oct 2022

visa

  • People from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania still need visas to travel to the US (Photo: The Hamster Factor)

US travellers to the EU won't require visas despite demands from the European Parliament.

The European Commission on Tuesday (2 May) told reporters that such a move would not be in the mutual interest of EU citizens.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The European Union will always choose engagement, commitment, and passionate diplomacy over any form of unilateral retaliation," said EU commissioner for home affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

The US administration has so far refused to lift visa requirements on EU nationals from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. Canada had also imposed restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians.

As a result, lawmakers in the EU parliament passed a non-binding resolution in March demanding the EU commission to reintroduce visas for US and Canadian citizens.

The tit-for-tat measure has sparked fears among senior EU officials, who believe the proposed visas would make travelling to the US and Canada more difficult for EU citizens.

Avramopoulos said a ministerial meeting will instead take place in June with US counterparts in an effort to iron out differences.

The commissioner has also been in contact with secretary of US homeland security, John F Kelly, to "clarify many points on these bilateral issues".

But Tuesday's move to maintain visa-free travel for Americans is likely to be viewed as capitulation by an EU parliament, which has threatened to take the commission to the European Court of Justice over the matter.

EU law obliges the commission to impose the visas on the US because of their refusal to lift restrictions on the handful of EU states.

The commission is hoping to convince critics that its marginal success in similar issues with Canada is the best strategy moving forwards.

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, who have held a Canadian temporary visa in the past ten years or who currently hold valid US non-immigrant visa, are now able to travel visa-free to the country.

The plan is to allow all other Bulgarians and Romanians visa-free travel to Canada by the start of December.

"The rest of Romanian and Bulgarian travellers will become visa free as of December 1st of this year," said Avramopoulos.

EU hopes Trump will back down on visa war

The Commission is hoping that Trump, the incoming US president, will back down in a potential visa war, but terrorist attacks in Europe could make that less likely.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

UK visitors to pay into EU budget after Brexit

The EU Commission says extra revenue generated from a new visa-free travel scheme, to launch in 2020, would go to the EU budget, reducing member state contributions.

MEPs condemn EU Commission 'leniency' on Hungary

MEPs criticised the EU Commission for what they see as the executive not being tough enough on the government of Viktor Orbán, as Hungary's parliament passed new legislation as part of a deal with the EU executive.

Opinion

What von der Leyen's 'State of Union' didn't mention

Ursula von der Leyen barely noticed that European democracy is under attack not only from external threats, but from within. Two of the world's leading autocratic countries are EU member states.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's stand-in EU ambassador reprimanded on Ukraine
  2. France warns over incoming eighth Covid wave
  3. EU adds Anguilla, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos to tax-haven blacklist
  4. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  5. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  6. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  7. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  8. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. EU debates new pandemic-type loans to deal with crisis
  2. MEPs condemn EU Commission 'leniency' on Hungary
  3. Czech EU presidency wants asylum pledges to be secret
  4. European navies must stay on Suez trade routes, EU diplomats warn
  5. Macron's 'European Political Community' — how could it work?
  6. EU adopts common charger law, forces iPhone redesign
  7. Last-minute legal changes to Bosnian election law stir controversy
  8. EU wants probe into alleged war crimes by Azerbaijan

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us