REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

    8.12.2011 - (COM(2011)0516 – C7‑0226/2011 – 2011/0223(COD)) - ***I

    Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
    Rapporteur: Louis Michel


    Procedure : 2011/0223(COD)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    A7-0441/2011
    Texts tabled :
    A7-0441/2011
    Debates :
    Texts adopted :

    DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

    on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

    (COM(2011)0516 – C7‑0226/2011 – 2011/0223(COD))

    (Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0516),

    –   having regard to Article 294(2) and point (a) of Article 77(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0226/2011),

    –   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

    –   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0441/2011),

    1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

    2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

    3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

    Amendment  1

    Proposal for a regulation

    Recital 10

    Text proposed by the Commission

    Amendment

    (10) As regards Cyprus, this Regulation constitutes an act building upon or otherwise related to the Schengen acquis within the meaning of Article 3(2) of the 2003 Act of Accession.

    (10) As regards Cyprus, this Regulation constitutes an act building upon or otherwise related to the Schengen acquis within the meaning of Article 3(1) of the 2003 Act of Accession.

    Justification

    Recitals 10 and 11 should follow the same logic as Recital 38 of the Visa Code and refer, respectively, to Article 3(1) of the 2003 Act of Accession and Article 4(1) of the 2005 Act of Accession, given that the provisions on airport transit visas are binding and apply to Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria as from their accession date.

    Amendment  2

    Proposal for a regulation

    Recital 11

    Text proposed by the Commission

    Amendment

    (11) This Regulation constitutes an act building upon or otherwise related to the Schengen acquis within the meaning of Article 4(2) of the 2005 Act of Accession,

    (11) This Regulation constitutes an act building upon or otherwise related to the Schengen acquis within the meaning of Article 4(1) of the 2005 Act of Accession,

    Justification

    Recitals 10 and 11 should follow the same logic as Recital 38 of the Visa Code and refer, respectively, to Article 3(1) of the 2003 Act of Accession and Article 4(1) of the 2005 Act of Accession, given that the provisions on airport transit visas are binding and apply to Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria as from their accession date.

    EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

    The aim of the proposal is to amend Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) with a view to clarifying the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and so guaranteeing legal certainty and transparency.

    Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 has been in force since 5 April 2010. In accordance with the Visa Code, instructions on the practical application of the provisions of the regulation have been drawn up by means of the Commission decision establishing the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas, which was adopted on 19 March 2010.

    During the process of preparing the Handbook, it was noted that the wording of Article 3(5)(b) and (c), concerning exemption from the airport transit visa (ATV) requirement, was unclear. As the Handbook cannot impose legally binding obligations on Member States, the Visa Code must be amended to guarantee legal certainty and the harmonised application of the rules. Clarification of this kind is of practical importance for individual travellers and for airlines.

    The aspects covered by the proposal were discussed in the Visa Committee and in the Visa Working Party and Member States applauded the step taken by the Commission in seeking a limited amendment of the Visa Code.

    Under Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, third-country nationals who hold a valid ATV issued by a Member State, Canada, Japan or the United States of America or who hold a valid residence permit issued by a Member State, Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States of America are exempted from the ATV requirement.

    The proposal consists only of technical amendments which make it clear that:

    · third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full are to be covered by the ATV exemption;

    · the ATV exemption covers persons holding a valid visa when they travel to the third country that issued the visa or to any other third country and when, having used the visa, they return from the third country that issued it.

    Rapporteur’s position

    Your rapporteur points out that the proposal makes technical adjustments to the provisions dealing with the ATV. This adjustment will not alter the way Member States implement those provisions. The amended regulation provides that third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not (yet) apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the ATV exemption.

    Your rapporteur regards this change as logical: it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked and, on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. What is more, the proposal should reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

    Your rapporteur is proposing two technical amendments correcting recitals 10 and 11 of the proposal.

    Your rapporteur supports the proposal and urges the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to adopt this resolution.

    PROCEDURE

    Title

    Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas

    References

    COM(2011)0516 – C7-0226/2011 – 2011/0223(COD)

    Date submitted to Parliament

    19.8.2011

     

     

     

    Committee responsible

           Date announced in plenary

    LIBE

    13.9.2011

     

     

     

    Rapporteur(s)

           Date appointed

    Louis Michel

    11.10.2011

     

     

     

    Discussed in committee

    7.11.2011

    29.11.2011

    5.12.2011

     

    Date adopted

    5.12.2011

     

     

     

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    39

    2

    0

    Members present for the final vote

    Jan Philipp Albrecht, Emine Bozkurt, Simon Busuttil, Philip Claeys, Carlos Coelho, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Tanja Fajon, Kinga Gál, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Anna Hedh, Salvatore Iacolino, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Véronique Mathieu, Louis Michel, Jan Mulder, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Georgios Papanikolaou, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Csaba Sógor, Rui Tavares, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Tatjana Ždanoka, Auke Zijlstra

    Substitute(s) present for the final vote

    Edit Bauer, Ioan Enciu, Nadja Hirsch, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Ádám Kósa, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Marie-Christine Vergiat

    Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

    Veronica Lope Fontagné, Barbara Matera, Licia Ronzulli, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská

    Date tabled

    8.12.2011