The gutless EU is trying to show that it has some lingering sovereignty left in its depleted skeleton by pretending to ban US citizens from visa free travel to EU countries.
In a show of hands vote, the powerless EU parliament is proposing an American visa free travel ban in response to the US denying visa-free travel to citizens of Croatia, Cyprus, Poland. Bulgaria and Romania.
The European Parliament is now waiting on its executive body, the European Commission, to enact a year-long suspension of visa-free travel for US citizens. The EC will not enforce this vote for two reasons…
1. The EC is a construct of US design. Once America sits the EC children down for a chat, and explains how things work, the EC will not mention visa free travel bans ever again.
2. Banning Americans from visa free travel will destroy the tourist industry of just about every EU member state, specifically France, Italy, Spain, etc…
The European Parliament released a statement saying…
“if a country does not lift its visa requirements within 24 months of being notified of non-reciprocity, the EU Commission must adopt a delegated act… suspending the visa waiver for its nationals for 12 months.”
The parliament claimed that it was “legally obliged” to address the issue as they were first notified in April 2014 that the US would not reciprocate the visa waiver right, along with Brunei, Japan, Canada and Australia.
One commission official said that parties on both sides are in talks “to push for full visa reciprocity,” but that no immediate action will be taken on the issue. The parliament wants the measure in place “within two months,” and the commission is set to report on its progress by the end of June.
Japan, Australia, and Brunei have lifted their restrictions, and by the end of the year Canada is set to do the same.
Such restrictions could have a negative impact on European tourism revenue, and the commission is pushing to diplomatically resolve what some have deemed to be a “visa war.”
Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission said in a joint letter with the Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism sent to Parliament members, “We fully understand and respect the visa waiver reciprocity mechanism embedded in European legislation to ensure that all nationals of Member States part of Schengen can benefit on equal terms from exemption of visa requirement.”
The letter continued, “However, we are very concerned about the economic and political impact of a suspension of visa waiver for US nationals. Making it more difficult for US citizens to travel to Europe would certainly deprive the European travel and tourism sector of essential revenue, and put thousands of European jobs at stake in one of the few sectors which experiences a strong growth in employment.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.