20th May 2016

Council agrees its stance on visa snap-back

In light of the upcoming visa liberalization for citizens of Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo and Turkey, the EU has decided to revamp the visa-waiver suspension mechanism. The Council agreed its stance on the proposed reform on 20 May. The snap-back allows the Union to temporarily re-introduce visa in certain exceptional circumstances related to the visa-free travel. Such circumstances can be a sharp increase of irregular entries of the EU by citizens of the countries with visa-waiver, an increase of unfounded asylum applications by citizens of such countries, or non-cooperation of the said country with regard to re-admission of illegal entrants. The proposed reform makes it easier to trigger the mechanism and widens the scope of possible "exceptional circumstances". For example, the EC will be able to act on its own and possible reasons for temporary re-imposition of visa are extended to non-cooperation on re-admissions of third country nationals entering the EU via the country with visa-waiver. The mechanism will also be more effective – the reference periods and delays are to be shortened. Based on the agreed position (so-called General Approach), the Dutch Presidency of the Council will launch informal negotiations with the European Parliament, aiming at a quick adoption of the reform.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic