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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2016
Question for written answer E-003101-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Bruno Gollnisch (NI)

 Subject:  Visa exemption with the United States
 Answer in writing 

The terms of international visa exemption agreements state that any US citizen can enter the Schengen area, including France, provided that they have a valid passport, stay for less than 90 days and come for business or tourism purposes.

It is a whole other story for French nationals entering the US, who, as a minimum requirement, must fill in an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) form. The truth of the matter is that this form is more restrictive than many visas issued by other States. The authorities claim it is straightforward, but in fact it is a complicated and intrusive administrative procedure that travellers themselves must pay for, whether their application is granted or not.

What is more, this procedure determines only whether applicants are eligible to travel and not whether they can enter the US, a decision which is taken by the US authorities only when they arrive, subsequent to further checks.

Clearly, therefore, there is one rule for US citizens entering Europe, and another for EU citizens entering the US.

1. What view does the Commission take of this blatant rejection of the principle of reciprocity, which violates international agreements?

2. How does it intend to remedy this state of affairs?

Original language of question: FR 
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