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Security, an obstacle to the total liberalization of visas with Canada and the USA

In its report just published by the European Commission on the violation of the obligation of reciprocity of third countries in the granting of visas to European citizens, we observe two black spots (if we except the microscopic case of Brunei): Canada and the United States. And there, the Commission admits its powerlessness. “When it addresses the other remaining cases of lack of reciprocity, concerning the United States (visa requirement for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Poland) and Canada (same requirement for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals), the EU is faced with the limits of its reciprocity mechanism? as it appears in the current acquis. In these cases, certain Member States are in fact considered by third countries as not fulfilling the objective conditions for visa exemption set unilaterally by these countries in their national legislation (e.g. for example, they do not issue biometric passports or they do not reach the thresholds set for visa refusals and/or overstay rates. ). »

Implicitly, this means – as a diplomat who is an expert on these issues confirmed to me – that the EU has “ having a hard time defending externally some of its member states which do not respect minimum security standards » for identity documents or the issuance of visas. The administrations of the four targeted countries are not rigorous enough in their treatment. It is therefore interesting to observe that the refusal of the United States and Canada proves, in this case, an instrument as powerful or even more powerful for the integration of certain safety standards than European standards. An interesting subject for reflection during the EU – United States summit, which is being held in Lisbon on November 20. One among others…

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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