U.S. Travelers To Europe Will Not Need Visas, EU Says

by Richard D’Ambrosio
U.S. Travelers To Europe Will Not Need Visas, EU Says

Photo: U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection

On Tuesday, the European Commission said it will not pursue the European Parliament’s request that United States citizens apply for travel visas.

Earlier this year, the EU Parliament signed a non-binding resolution demanding the Commission reinstate visa requirements for Americans in retaliation for the United States requiring visas for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

At a meeting with the press on Tuesday, EU commissioner for home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said, "The European Union will always choose engagement, commitment and passionate diplomacy over any form of unilateral retaliation.”

Some press reports in March and April had caused concern among U.S. travelers and travel suppliers about whether traveling to Europe this summer would be more costly and complicated, as Americans would have to apply for travel visas. But this issue has been boiling for about a year, and most experts predicted the Commission, the regulatory body of the European Union, would not pursue the non-binding resolution.

Indeed, the Commission and U.S. officials will meet in June to continue discussions about the issue. Similar meetings with Canadian officials have helped Canada ease visa restrictions on citizens from two E.U. nations, Bulgaria and Romania.

Press reports stated that the Commission is also in contact with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to "clarify many points on these bilateral issues."

The EU parliament has threatened to ask the European Court of Justice to enforce the E.U. law, requiring the Commission to enforce the visa rule as long as E.U. nations don’t have reciprocal rights with the United States.

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