EU Starts Talks with Belarus on Visa Facilitation

15.11.2010 18:01

The European Commission recommended the EU Council of Ministers to authorize the Commission to start negotiations with Belarus on simplification of short-stay visa procedures, as well as on readmission. This was reported to Telegraf by the EU Representation in Belarus on Monday, November 15.

The European Commission suggests the EU states’ revision of the list of issues, on which the EU is ready to simplify visa procedures. «It is about simplifying procedures for obtaining long-term multiple-entry visas to the EU, abolition or reduction of visa fees for certain categories of citizens (a list of these categories is still to be determined), establishment of deadlines for processing visa applications, as well as the possible lifting of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports,» the embassy told.

It was stressed in the representation of the European Union that visa regime simplification is extremely important for citizens of Belarus. The new system provides a more predictable and transparent procedure for obtaining visas, as well as reducing their cost by half. Such simplification would improve exchange and increase the number of contacts between citizens of Belarus and the European Union.

At the same time, the agreements provide a legal basis for returning nationals, illegal in the EU territory, to their native country, the EU representatives reported.