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VisasEU lawmakers want to reintroduce visa requirement for U.S. citizens

Published 3 March 2017

Member of the European Parliament have issued a deadline for Brussels to impose visa requirements for American citizens traveling to EU countries. The measure comes as European lawmakers have criticized a requirement by the United States that citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Poland – all EU members or associate members — apply for a U.S. visa if they want to enter the United States.

Member of the European Parliament have issued a deadline for Brussels to impose visa requirements for American citizens traveling to EU countries. The measure comes as European lawmakers have criticized a requirement by the United States that citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Poland apply for a U.S. visa if they want to enter the United States.

Fox News reports that the European Parliament on Thursday called on the EU’s executive body to reintroduce visas for U.S. citizens “within two months,” noting Washington’s failure to provide full visa reciprocity.

The parliamentarians passed a resolution demanding that the European Commission impose visas on U.S. citizens by May, ahead of the traditionally busy tourist season.

The lack of visa reciprocity affects at least 14 percent of EU citizens, namely the citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Poland as well as some EU citizens with dual nationality,” said ALDE group Vice President Filiz Hyusmenova in a statement following the vote.

It is high time for the commission to show administrative will and political strength, not only for defending those citizens’ rights, but also for reinforcing the strength and unity of the European Union on the international scene,” she added.

Fox news notes that a similar parliamentary attempt in 2014 went nowhere after Brussels allowed a deadline to pass without a response.

The Commission said European officials have contacted the Trump administration “to push for full visa reciprocity.”

We will report on further progress made before the end of June and continue to work closely with both the European Parliament and the Council,” said a European Commission spokeswoman.

European officials said they hope to resolve the issue at an EU-US ministerial meeting slated for June 15.

Americans make up a large segment of tourists and business travelers to the 28-nation EU, and Brussels has so far showed no desire to disrupt the flow of Americans to Europe by re-imposing travel restrictions on them.