As President Donald Trump’s travel bans and immigration policies continue to cause controversy in the world, the #European Parliament, in a tit-for-tat move, passed a non-binding resolution Thursday to refuse visa-free access to the EU bloc by U.S. citizens. The EU Parliament says this is in response to the American visa rules that currently affect citizens from five EU countries, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland, Croatia and Romania, denying their citizens visa-free access to the U.S.

Nothing to panic about, as the EU Parliament moves slowly

Reportedly, as member states would need to all approve the move, the process could take several years.

Advertisements
Advertisements

However the resolution by the Civil Liberties Committee was passed in the European Parliament by a show of hands and it was said the new rules should quickly come into effect and remain in place until the U.S. Government, for their part, shelves visa requirements for EU citizens.

The statement said that should a third party country not lift its visa requirements within two years of having been notified of non-reciprocity, the #EU commission must adopt the act, which would in effect suspend the visa waiver for its nationals for one year. According to the EU commission, the initial notification of non-reciprocity by the U.S. was received back in April 2014. This means that the commission should have taken action by April 2016 but has yet to do so.

Canada and other countries will be shelving similar visa requirements

According to a report by the BBC, Canada also currently has visa requirements for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, but reportedly announced these will be shelved in December this year.

Advertisements

Besides Canada, and according to a report on the European Parliament website, the EU Commission was notified in April 2014 that four other countries were not meeting their visa-free obligations towards the EU, including Australia, Brunei, Japan and the U.S. However, three of the four have since lifted their visa requirements for visits by EU citizens with the U.S. being the odd one out. #visa free access