EU lawmakers vote to suspend “visa-free” treatment for US citizens


The visa war between the European Parliament and the US lawmakers has escalated over the past few months. In response to US refusal of suspending the requirement for EU and Schengen citizens the visa requirements, EU wants to impose similar treatment for all US citizens entering the EU. Now, since 2017, all US citizens have to do a bit more in order to get their Europe travel plans to perfection.

A matter of reciprocity

This matter is older than the year of 2017, dating from back in 2014 when the EU sent a notification to all the countries who didn’t have similar and equal visa treatment for all EU citizens. At that time, citizens from some EU member countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania) were prohibited from entering Australia, the US, Japan, Canada and Brunei without a visa. December 2017 comes with this requirement suspended for citizens from Romania and Bulgaria who visit Canada. And a similar approach was adopted by the rest of the countries on EU’s blacklist earlier in 2017. However, the US still hasn’t taken any measures in this direction, so a similar treatment for US citizens was imposed.

Now, US citizens are imposed similar requirements when travelling to EU states

Temporarily, at least until the US lifts the visa requirement from some EU citizens, travellers from the States will have to apply for Schengen visa from US. Naturally, experts in the travel and accommodation industry claim that there will be registered a decrease in the number of US citizens that will visit European countries due to a fear of additional papers they have to bring with them. Nonetheless, the EU Commission and Parliament stand their ground and plan not to lift the ban until US does the same with citizens from the previously mentioned European countries.

Measures implemented to reinforce the unity and strength of the EU

As the European Union governmental bodies claim, these measures are designed to protect EU citizen’s interest, regardless of the country of origin, as adhering and being a citizen of a member country means equal treatment, benefits and status, regardless of the country. Also, the EU’s political stance in terms of International relations will be reinforced by adopting a firmer position in front of the political giants on the international scene.

Will imposing visas for US travellers damage the travel and accommodation industry?

Some experts claim that undoubtedly, imposing visas for US citizens, will affect the European travel and accommodation industry, as many may prefer finding other destinations to visit, since the fear of additional papers and steps in the planning process may appear. This is expected to damage the European economy derived from tourism, as many US citizens seem to be more likely to spend more during their vacation than EU citizens are inclined to. However, it’s a matter of time until this will become noticeable.

The spiky issue of the visa war between the US and the EU is older than this, and the only way to solve it remains a visa elimination for the EU citizens that travel to the US.


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