Thursday, May 26, 2016

EU Member States Halt Visa-Free Deals for Ukraine, Georgia

On May 20, security ministers of EU Member States approved European Commission's proposal to make changes to plans for visa-free travel arrangements with non EU countries following warnings of further growth in illegal immigration. The measure was taken amid EU-Turkey visa free regime talks, which now also look set to fail because of Turkey's refusal to implement required reforms in human rights law.

The move came as the European Union was actively engaged in negotiating visa-waiver programs with Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo and against the background of a widening migrant crisis, and increasing dissatisfaction among member states of the way EU commission bureaucrats have repeatedly ducked their responsibility for dealing with the immigration crisis.

"Visa liberalisation has great advantages for the EU and other countries. Yet we need an emergency brake for all visa free countries to make sure that visa liberalisation cannot be abused," Council President Klaas Dijkhoff was quoted as saying in a press statement after the Brussels meeting.

Dijkhoff, also the Dutch migration minister, said he was "pleased that ministers had agreed on a mechanism that would make it easier to act against abuse". Next stage would be discussing the plan with the European Parliament, he added.

The revised mechanism sets out grounds for suspending visa-free travel agreements with non-EU members, such as an increased transit of third-country nationals through countries that the EU has agreements with. It is not the same as open borders travel, theoretically only available to EU citizens in the Schengen zone, but widely abused because of left wing ideological committments to a border free world (and ultmately the dystopian nightmare of a world government.
 
"EU states do not intend to exempt Ukraine and Georgia from the decision to halt progress of the visa waiver  suspension mechanism," a source told RIA Novosti. "such an intention may considerably slow down the process of granting a visa-free regime for Ukraine and Georgia."

The new mechanism sets out possible grounds for suspending free-travel agreements with non-EU members, such as an increased transit of third-country nationals through countries that the EU has agreements with.
In December 2015, the European Commission gave a positive assessment of Ukraine and Georgia successfully meeting all benchmark requirements necessary for the liberalization of the visa regime with the bloc. In spring, the Commission made a proposal to the European Council and the European Parliament to add Ukraine and Georgia to the list of countries the citizens of which could travel to the Schengen Area without visas.

However, no decisions on these issues have been approved by either of the EU bodies so far. It looks like this could develop into another battle between the Brussels bureaucrats and elected governments of member nations.









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