With EYP – the European Youth Parliament
Question from Ilona, Ukraine:
“My question to you concerns visa issued in non EU countries because it’s really hard for non EU students and youth to obtain a visa. Are you planning to simplify the visa procedure for non EU countries? Thanks.”
Answer by Michele Cercone, EU Spokesperson for Home affairs:
“Yes, the European Commission intends to make it easier for third country nationals in bona fide – those who do not pose any risk at security level – to enter the EU and to get visa to do so.
More in detail, we intend to look in the short term at how to best make use of the current rules, the existing rules. So consulates will be asked to respect for instance the 2-week-deadline to give a meeting, the 2-week-deadline to give a final answer and also the duty to give an explanation and to explain why the visa request has been refused. This is in the short term.
In the long term, we’ll also intend to see if we can change the rules, the visa code in order to make a little bit simpler and easier.
This said, let’s not forget that Ukrainian citizens have already benefited form a number of very positive measures that have been introduced since 2008 – since the Visa facilitation agreement with the EU – notably the reduction of the visa fee from
the normal 60 euro to 35 euro and also reduce number of burden when it comes to the number of documents and also visa procedure.
Altogether in 2011 the number of visa requests from Ukraine amounted to over one million, so only around 3% have been rejected, so this is already good news.
We also hope that early 2013, the changes that have been agreed to the current Visa facilitation with Ukraine will enter into force.
This will help certain categories to be completely
visa waived, so they will not required visa any more and other categories will have their lives made easier by these changes that – as I said we hope – could enter into force at the beginning of 2013.”
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