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Friday, February 23, 2018

A visa free regime between the EU and the US are under threat

The European Commission is considering the possibility of restoration of the visa regime for citizens of the USA and Canada, reported a source in the EU leadership. Brussels and previously threatened similar measures, so this hardly looks like quite an empty threat. What caused such a move the EU towards its senior transatlantic partner?

EU authorities are considering the introduction of a visa regime for citizens of the USA and Canada who wish to enter the territory of the EU, told Reuters informed source in the EU.

“Actually Brussels himself would gladly have introduced a visa regime for such countries, as Poland, Romania or Bulgaria. Then to the West flows the stream of migrants”

Discussion of commissioners has pushed the refusal of the United States and Canada to remove restrictions for “holders of passports of several countries – members of EU”.

As noted by the Agency itself, this threat may increase tensions in the relations between countries just at a time when Brussels and the U.S. are negotiating over the agreement on free trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

Visa-free travel to the USA for citizens of countries of Western Europe has been operating since 1986. They may be overseas without a visa for 90 days, and annually enjoys this right to 20 million people. But the US and Canada keep the visa regime for many countries of the European Union – Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Poland. But Canadians and Americans are free to visit any EU country. “It is obvious that on such an important issue needed a political discussion and decision. But there is a real risk that the EU will be inclined to the introduction of the visa regime for both countries,” warned the source.

The fact that the poles, despite their strong Pro-American sentiments, do not use with U.S. reciprocity in the visa issue, complained two years ago, in February 2014, “Radio Poland”. Back then Brussels in response to complaints of Warsaw threatened Washington after two years to establish a visa regime, if nothing changes.

Scientific Director of the German-Russian forum Alexander Rahr called the warning “the source” of interesting, though in need of verification. “If this is confirmed, it would mean that such leading European countries as France, Germany and even Britain, that is, close U.S. allies, to protect the interests of such secondary members of the EU, like Bulgaria or Romania,” – said Rahr the newspaper VIEW.

“Perhaps in the coming days this issue will be exaggerated. It is not excluded that the Bulgarians themselves said in Brussels: “Here, we are showing solidarity, in particular supported anti-Russian sanctions, although it is not profitable for us, and look what is happening with the visa regime! Why you can, but we can’t?” I don’t think it’s an ultimatum, but rather just a warning,” suggested a German expert.

On the other hand, it is difficult to blame the Americans for what they are roughly, but purposefully trying to protect their borders because they remain a target for terrorists after September 11, there was a slip of the tongue RAR.

“Every time I go to America, at the entrance you can see the queue. People meticulously check. In fact, today even German citizens cannot freely travel to the States. Before the trip I have to fill out a long questionnaire and send to the Consulate. In fact, this visa application form – it is necessary to specify the flight number, residential address and so forth. To make fingerprints! God forbid you change plans! Then all anew to fill. This is actually polovitsy mode”, – complained the analyst.

“In the European Union in the visa issue too, confusion reigns. Since crowds of Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians and so on appeared in Germany, many of them registered three times in different cities, some under different names, some are not registered. This situation frightens many. Reigns hassle. And here on this background and sound requirements to the US – to finally liberalize the visa regime,” – said the expert.

“If the countries of Eastern Europe decisively will require solidarity on this issue, then it is difficult to imagine that Merkel and Hollande will refuse them. Then the Schengen regime may collapse, which will hurt the economy. On the other hand, neither Merkel, nor Hollande, of course, will not allow the quarrel with America” – said Rahr.

Professor of political science, Tennessee state University, expert of Russian Council on international Affairs, doctor of economic Sciences Andrey Korobkov relates to threats to Brussels “source” safer.

“It’s a bluff, the Professor said the newspaper VIEW, – indeed, Brussels itself would gladly have introduced a visa regime for such countries, as Poland, Romania or Bulgaria. Then to the West flows the stream of migrants is legal, but in fact unwanted. If from Poland are poles, then from Romania and Bulgaria – the flow of the Gypsies”.

Like many refugees moved to Europena look Korobkova, such a threat is a good mine at bad game. “It’s like a nod of Brussels in the direction of these younger partners. But in fact no one seriously defend their interests in the EU is not torn. For this we need to assume that the major EU countries, such as France and Germany, have to sacrifice the convenience of their citizens for the interests of the countries of Eastern Europe. In fact, this “leak” to the press – only evidence of pressure from those countries in Brussels, as well as evidence of the General deterioration of the atmosphere in Western Europe, caused by the migration crisis, and deep structural crisis of the European Union”, – said the Professor.

However, Korobkov recognizes: anxiety is growing in the United States. “The degree of nervousness increases and specificity of the U.S. election campaign trump, and a common set of candidates from both parties. He conducted a vigorous agitation against the recently signed free trade agreement countries of the Pacific ocean. Against trump on one side and Bernie Sanders on the other. It once was able to overwhelm opponents in Congress. It is unnerving and foreign partners of the USA in Western Europe and the far East, and members of Congress, and the American bureaucracy. I recently spoke with one official from the state Department, he admitted that he just fear watches together with colleagues at the trump, they are afraid of his unpredictability. But the figure of Cruz does not cause them any optimism,” concluded the Professor from Tennessee.

The threat of the Americans to introduce a visa regime sounds from Brussels is not the first time in recent months. It was announced in December, not even an anonymous “source”, and the EU Ambassador to the USA David O’sullivan on behalf of the 28 EU countries.

Shortly before Congress passed a bill according to which EU citizens visiting Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the last five years, can enter the United States only for an entry visa, after a special audit. As reported TASS, the law was developed in connection with the terrorist threat, including attacks in Paris and California town of San Bernardino, which were committed by immigrants from Muslim countries. “Verification of biometric data at the entrance became mandatory, that in fact would mean the establishment of a visa regime”, – wrote in response to David O’sullivan on the pages of the Washington newspaper The Hill, promising Washington “response”.

O’sullivan complained that the tightening of the regime for travel between the U.S. and the EU will negatively affect millions of Europeans who annually go to the USA. In addition, according to the Ambassador the EU, these measures are useless: they will not increase the level of security in the US, but will hurt and economic ties. But, despite threats O’sullivan, the law in January yet entered into force.

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