As per recent reports, the European Parliament called the EU executive a few days back to make it compulsory for Americans to apply for their visas before they plan to visit Europe during summer. This step has increased the pressure to solve a long-running transatlantic dispute regarding the issue between Europeans and Americans. The European Commission emphasized on the fact that it pursued a diplomatic resolution to the row, reducing the chances of lawmakers setting a deadline on May to impose visas. This move would probably hurt the tourism sector of Europe.
Washington is not willing to grant visa-free access to citizens of Cyprus and 4 East-European states while people from other 23 member states can enter leveraging their US visa waiver program. As per the rules of the European Union, all Union citizens should be treated equally. The commission officials noted a planned EU-US meeting with ministers on 15 th June to try and solve this issue which had been running since 2014. The EU executive already allowed a deadline for solution to pass almost a year ago without having to take enough action.
As per what a commission spokeswoman said, they are planning to report any noteworthy progress that they make before the end of June and also said that they will work closely with both the Council and the European Parliament. All this was said referring to the council which groups the government of 28 EU member states. Contacts are still on with the US administration to push full visa reciprocity but they fell short of saying that immediate action could be taken.
Croatia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, former communist countries and also Mediterranean island of Cyprus have been calling Brussels to end discrimination of US against the citizens. The economic cost of applying visa restrictions on millions of American business travelers and tourists who visit Europe every year is a big disincentive.
Most of the EU countries are parts of Schengen zone which lets people to travel freely within Europe without any kind of passport checks. The Parliament urged the commission to take some restrictive measures against all American citizens within few months. The lawmakers are blessed with enough power to make sure that the people comply with such demands. Canada also imposes different visa requirements on Romanian and Bulgarian citizens but it has also announced that the requirements will all be lifted in December.
It is yet to be seen whether or not the European Union listens to the requests of the lawmakers to impose visa rules on citizens of America.