The Commission proposes to open negotiations on Visa Facilitation

Sept 24 2011

The Commission proposes to open negotiations on Visa Facilitation and
Readmission Agreements with Armenia

Brussels ` Today the Commission proposed to open negotiations on
agreements to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas
as well as on the readmission of irregular migrants between the
European Union and Armenia.

`Easier access to visas will improve cooperation and exchanges between
the EU and Armenia. Visa facilitation and readmission agreements are
very tangible results of the Eastern partnership and I know how much
this means to the citizens of these countries’, said Cecilia
Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

`The human dimension of the Eastern Partnership is one of its most
important ones. Fostering mobility and people-to-people contacts
through visa facilitation is fundamental in order to promote social
and economic development and mutual understanding between the people.
The proposals to open negotiations on visa facilitation and
readmission agreements with Armenia are an important step in this
direction.’ said Åtefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and
Neighbourhood Policy.

The Commission proposes to open negotiations on a visa facilitation
agreement between the EU and Armenia. The agreements will be based on
reciprocity and provide visa facilitations for Armenian citizens. The
list of suggested visa facilitations include the simplification of
documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the visa
application, the possibility of issuing multiple-entry visas with a
long period of validity, the waiving/reducing of the handling fees for
specific categories of travellers, set deadlines for processing visa
applications, as well as a possible exemption from the visa obligation
for holders of diplomatic passports.

At the same time, the Commission proposes to combine the easing of
visa requirements for travellers from Armenia with agreed mechanisms
for the readmission of irregular migrants. The negotiation of
readmission agreements will provide for the speedy return of nationals
staying without authorisation on the territory of the EU or Armenia.

The visa facilitation and readmission negotiations with Armenia follow
the political commitment taken at the Prague Eastern Partnership
Summit in May 2009 regarding the improvement of people`to people
contacts. This approach was reaffirmed more recently by the Eastern
Partnership Foreign Ministers’ conclusions in December 2010. Once
negotiated, the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission can
only enter into force simultaneously.

For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs

Homepage DG Home Affairs:

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