Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, went to Berlin, where he participated in the 17th Tourism Summit (Tourismusgipfel). In his speech, the President reminded of the mutually beneficial effects of tourism and European integration, and underlined in particular the importance of the four freedoms of the Single Market for a flourishing tourism sector. (EC Audiovisual Services).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, went to Berlin, where he participated in the 17th Tourism Summit (Tourismusgipfel). In his speech, the President reminded of the mutually beneficial effects of tourism and European integration, and underlined in particular the importance of the four freedoms of the Single Market for a flourishing tourism sector. (EC Audiovisual Services).

With Brussels ‘digesting’ two historical developments, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the creation of the European Banking Union, this new week predictably could be rather quiet. There is a problem though the Commission will try to resolve during the next few days. It’s the EU Schengen visa applications by non EU citizens, who want to take their summer vacations in southern Eurozone countries.

Spain, Greece, Italy and Cyprus depend heavily on Russian and Ukrainian holiday makers, in order to boost the potential of their tourism industry. Understandably, the deterioration of EU-Russia relations and the political developments in Ukraine could compromise the south European summer holiday season. Almost one fifth of the Greek GDP comes from the tourism sector. To a lesser degree, all south Eurozone countries depend on tourism in order to gain a sustainable growth path.

Easier Schengen visas

Despite efforts in recent years, the amount of red tape and practical difficulties facing those who apply for an EU Schengen visa are substantial. Difficulties include long waiting times in some areas of the world, and complex requirements for supporting documents. On 19 March, the European Commission put forward a visa package introducing facilitations in the processing of Schengen visas: (1) Clearer and shorter deadlines and easier lodging of visa applications; (2) Easier issuing of multiple-entry visas; (3) A new type of visa allowing those who intend to travel around Europe to stay longer than 90 days in the Schengen area.

Next Tuesday 1 April the Commission will present its initiative to facilitate the issuance of Schengen area visa for third country holiday makers. A 2013 study on the economic impact of short stay visa facilitations on the tourism industry gives an idea of the economic benefit. The findings show that, by introducing various procedural facilitations, an increase in trips to the Schengen area of between 30 and 60 % could be expected.

Russians and Ukrainians

Visas are issued for the entire Schengen Area. Once within it, business people and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Since 1985, the Schengen Area has gradually expanded and today encompasses almost all EU States and a few associated non-EU countries like Switzerland. While having abolished their internal borders, Schengen States have also tightened controls at their common external border on the basis of Schengen rules to ensure the security of those living or travelling in the Schengen Area.

This tightening of the visa issuance procedure has undermined the tourism industry potential of south EU countries. To mend this unwanted side effect the Commission proposed the introduction of a new visa code. Since the entry into force of the new Visa Code in 2010, it has facilitated legitimate travel and tackled irregular migration, by improving consular organisation and cooperation, strengthening procedural guarantees, and reinforcing equal treatment of visa applicants. However, more should be done to address the challenges faced by visa applicants and Member States’ consulates.

South Eurozone needs them

Given the developments in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, this year the visa issue takes a new dimension. The usual red tape may trigger a negatively exponential reaction by the Russian holiday makers at a great cost to south EU countries. That is why the Commission is about to propose this Tuesday 1 April “more flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creation”. On the same day a Press conference with Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Malmström will take place and there will be a technical briefing with experts from Commission’s Directorate General HOME.

A large part of the GDP of the crisis hit south Eurozone countries’ depend on the success of this Commission effort, to facilitate the issue of visas for non-EU holiday makers.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

Action needed to end deadly clashes between African herders and farmers: UN chief

The time for cities to get smart is now

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

UN chief ‘following very closely’ reports of chemical weapons use in Syria’s Aleppo

5 ways blockchain can transform the world of impact investing

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

Donald Trump’s victory is a great opening for global EU leadership on the sustainability agenda

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Germany loses leading export place

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

MEPs back plans to halt spread of drug resistance from animals to humans

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

Vaccine hesitancy: a pregnancy related issue?

EU deal on electricity market rules to benefit both consumers and environment

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s green shoots, highlight environmental recovery from war

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

More women than ever before are running for political office in the US

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Social entrepreneurs can change the world – but these 6 things are holding us back

Migration crisis update: Greece could probably say goodbye to Schengen really soon

Innovation is the key to the pay-TV industry’s long-term growth

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Chart of the day: These are the cities where the World Cup threatens productivity the most

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

Art has the power to change the world, says this renowned Iranian muralist

Infinite Oath

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

Euro celebrates its 20th birthday

World cannot be transformed without ‘ingenuity of the countries of the South’: UN Chief

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

ECB reaches the boundaries of its mandate to revive the entirety of Eurozone

South Sudan’s women caught up in ‘futile man’s war’ UN gender equality chief

Japan initiates WTO dispute complaint against Korean duties on steel

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Is there a drug for every disease?

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

Bitpay @ TheNextWeb 2014: Innovation’s Best Friend

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s