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Visa-free travel could be suspended in special circumstances

Date

07 Jul 2016

Sections

Global Europe

Today, Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs agreed that visa-free travel of non-EU citizens on EU territory can be suspended in particular circumstances. Chief Negotiator Agustín Díaz de Mera MEP was given the green light to start negotiating with EU government Ministers.

"We will grant visas but today we have taken a step to include in legislation an urgent procedure to remove visa-free travel for non-EU countries which do not meet European criteria", Díaz de Mera said.

MEPs today decided that the EU should have a suspension mechanism in place as an emergency brake in cases where visa-free travel in the EU is being abused by certain non-EU nationals. This suspension mechanism would apply to all non-EU countries which have visa-free travel arrangements with the EU.

With this suspension mechanism it will be easier for EU governments to notify the European Commission of particular circumstances that could lead to a possible suspension of visa-free travel for certain non-EU nationals. This would enable the Commission to trigger the mechanism. This law will ask the European Commission to present an annual report to the European Parliament and to the EU governments on the continuous fulfilment of the criteria of visa-exempt non-EU countries which they have to reach.

Rapporteur Díaz de Mera MEP insisted that it is necessary and legally appropriate to use the delegated act and not the implementing act for this suspension mechanism in order to ensure adequate involvement of the European Parliament in the process.

The first meeting of Agustín Díaz de Mera MEP with the EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs is scheduled for next week.

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