In a resolution approved on Thursday, MEPs urge the EU Commission to take measures temporarily reintroducing visa requirements for US citizens, given that Washington still does not grant visa-free access to nationals of five EU countries. Currently, citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania still cannot enter US territory without a visa, while US citizens can travel to all EU countries visa-free.
“According to the visa reciprocity mechanism, if a third country does not lift its visa requirements within 24 months of being notified of non-reciprocity, the EU Commission must adopt a delegated act – to which both Parliament and the Council may object – suspending the visa waiver for its nationals for 12 months. Following a notification of non-reciprocity on 12 April 2014, the Commission should have acted before 12 April 2016 but it has yet to take any legal measure,” notes the official press release of the EU.
“We are very concerned about the economic and political impact of a suspension of visa waiver for US nationals,” Eduardo Santander, executive director of the ETC, said in a letter to MEPs, quoted by Russia Today.
To avoid placing restrictions on Americans, the EU Commission has already contacted Donald Trump’s administration “to push for full visa reciprocity,” according to Reuters. The issue could be resolved at the next EU-US ministerial meeting penciled in for June 15.
In April 2014, the European Commission was notified that five countries were not meeting their obligations towards the EU with regard to reciprocity of visa-free travel: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Japan and the US.
Australia, Brunei and Japan have since lifted their visa requirements for all EU citizens and Canada will do so in December this year.