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Procedura : 2020/2605(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
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Testi presentati :

O-000049/2020 (B9-0022/2020)

Discussioni :

PV 19/10/2020 - 20
CRE 19/10/2020 - 20

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Lunedì 19 ottobre 2020 - Bruxelles Edizione rivista

20. Obblighi della Commissione in tema di reciprocità in materia di visti in conformità dell'articolo 7 del regolamento (UE) 2018/1806 (discussione)
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the oral question to the Commission on obligations in the field of visa reciprocity in accordance with Article   of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 by Juan Fernando López Aguilar, on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (O-000049/2020 – B9—0022/20) (2020/2605(RSP)).


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar, autor. – Señor presidente, señora comisaria Johansson, sin duda comprenderá usted la oportunidad de esta pregunta oral, a modo de interpelación, que tengo el honor de formularle en mi calidad de presidente de la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia e Interior. Pero lo que quiero subrayar es su necesidad.

El Tratado de Lisboa entró en vigor hace más de diez años y, con el Tratado de Lisboa, el espacio de libertad, justicia y seguridad, que hace de la gestión de las fronteras de la Unión y de la libre circulación de personas dentro del espacio Schengen, por fin, una política común sujeta a la legislación de este Parlamento Europeo, uno de cuyos pilares es una política común de visados y una legislación europea de visados.

Este Parlamento ha hecho su trabajo. Adaptó el primer Reglamento de visados de 2001 en 2013 sobre el principio de reciprocidad consagrado por el Tratado de Lisboa. Y el principio de reciprocidad significa que la Unión Europea concede a terceros Estados y a sus nacionales exención de visados a condición de reciprocidad, de que esos terceros Estados eximan a los nacionales de los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea del correspondiente visado para acceder al territorio de esos países.

Y, además, en 2018, establecimos no solamente un Reglamento de reciprocidad con una lista de terceros Estados cuyos nacionales están exentos de visa a condición de que esos terceros Estados eximan de visa a los europeos, sino también un Código europeo de visados del que tuve el honor de ser ponente.

Pues bien, ya en 2017, le formulamos a la Comisión la pregunta de cuándo va a cumplir la Comisión el Derecho europeo en vigor que ordena que, si un tercer Estado que tiene exención de visados no la garantiza a todos los Estados de la Unión Europea, la Unión Europea tiene la obligación de adoptar un acto delegado para suspender esa exención de visados en términos de reciprocidad por, al menos, seis meses.

Se lo dijimos en 2017 porque había dos Estados con exención de visados, Canadá y los Estados Unidos, que no se la garantizaban entonces a cinco Estados de la Unión Europea: Polonia, Rumanía, Bulgaria, Croacia y Chipre.

Polonia ya tiene exención de visados y Canadá la ha garantizado a todos los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea. Pero los Estados Unidos aún se la deniegan a cuatro Estados miembros de la Unión Europea: Bulgaria, Rumanía, Croacia y Chipre.

Y por tanto, la consecuencia legal es obligada, sancionada además por el Tribunal de Justicia, ante el que la Comisión interpuso un asunto en 2013, resuelto en 2014 favorablemente para el Parlamento Europeo en 2014, diciendo con claridad que la Comisión sí tiene la obligación de adoptar el acto delegado cuando los Estados notifican transcurrido un período de 24 meses.

Ese período de 24 meses transcurrió holgadamente en 2016 porque la notificación se produjo en 2014. El Parlamento Europeo trajo el asunto a debate del Pleno en 2017 y sigue pendiente.

Por eso traemos el asunto por segunda vez y le formulamos la pregunta con claridad.

En primer lugar, ¿comparte la Comisión la obligación legal de adoptar el acto delegado como exige el Parlamento Europeo?

Segundo, ¿va a adoptarlo?

Y tercero, si no, explique por qué.


  Ylva Johansson, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I know how important visa reciprocity is to you and I especially thank Mr López Aguilar for his great engagement in this subject. I know that Parliament expects the Commission to do its utmost to ensure visa reciprocity for all EU citizens, including Bulgarians, Croatians, Cypriots and Romanians. For me, visa reciprocity – for all Member States – is a priority.

With the United States, we remain engaged in a result-oriented diplomatic process towards full visa reciprocity, in close coordination with the Member States concerned. Our communication on visa reciprocity of March 2020 details our engagement with the United States and shows we’ve consistently placed the issue high on the agenda. That communication also reported significant progress. In November last year, Poland entered the US visa waiver programme. Our approach is working. It has worked with other countries such as Canada, where full visa reciprocity for all EU citizens has already been achieved, and it is now showing results with the United States as well. Working on the result—oriented process, the four other Member States concerned have made continued progress. The United States is providing concrete guidance. The Member States have a clear perspective of joining the US visa waiver programme once they meet the outstanding requirements. These are not arbitrary but set out in US law. The Commission actively supports and works closely with these Member States to help them to fulfil all benchmarks and requirements. All four Member States have concrete prospects of progress; some appear to be very close to fulfilling the requirements and to being considered for entry to the US visa waiver programme.

All four Member States want to continue this approach. This is important. None of them has asked the Commission to temporarily suspend visa-free travel for US citizens. They have all agreed to continue dialogue and to work on the benchmarks. Temporarily suspending the visa waiver for US citizens would be counter-productive. It would undermine the progress achieved in our current work. Suspending visa-free travel for US citizens would inevitably lead the United States to impose visa requirements for all EU citizens. This is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. It would be difficult to explain to EU citizens how this were in their interest, especially when diplomatic engagement has brought positive results. I should also say that, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, maybe this is not the time to escalate. At the moment, COVID-19 travel restrictions are in force on both sides of the Atlantic. Non-essential travel is simply not taking place, visa-free or not.

Despite COVID-19, the Commission continues to work with the United States and the Member States concerned to accelerate progress on visas. We discussed visas at the most recent EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in May this year, and at the meeting between the United States, the Commission and the Member States concerned on 18 and 19 June of this year. Our continued engagement in difficult times shows how important this issue is to the Commission.

Finally, I turn to the legal aspect raised in your question. The visa reciprocity mechanism, as set out in the visa regulation, requires the adoption of a delegated act suspending the visa waiver for nationals of the third country concerned for 12 months. According to the legislation, we must also take into account the possible consequences for the external relations of the EU and its Member States and for all European citizens. On the one hand, there is the progress achieved so far, notably Poland achieving visa-free access last year and the continued progress made by the other Member States concerned. On the other hand, the expected negative effects of visa suspension for our external relations and visa reciprocity. My assessment is that as long as we see continuing progress through engagement with the United States, full visa reciprocity for all EU nationals can be best achieved through continued diplomatic cooperation. We will of course continue to keep you informed. I know that we all share the same objective: full visa waiver reciprocity. I’m confident that the remaining Member States will join the US visa waiver programme and I call on you to give this approach another chance.


  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 21 October 2020.

Written statements (Rule 171)


  Емил Радев (PPE), в писмена форма. – Въпросът за визовата реципрочност е изключително важен за моята страна България. За съжаление, българските граждани, както и гражданите на още три държави-членки - Кипър, Румъния и Хърватия - продължават да се третират различно, като те са и единствените граждани на ЕС, които все още не могат да влизат на територията на САЩ без виза. В отговор на двойните стандарти в сферата на визите, единственото правилно решение на ЕК е да приеме делегиран акт относно временното преустановяване на възможността американски граждани да влизат в Европа без визи. Резолюцията, която ЕП ще гласува е въпрос на солидарност между държавите-членки на ЕС и потвърждава правото на българските граждани и гражданите на другите три държави, които не се ползват от визовата реципрочност, да пътуват безвизово до САЩ, така както го правят гражданите на останалите държави-членки. Въпросът за нарушението на принципа на реципрочност за гражданите на България, Хърватия, Кипър и Румъния се поставя още от 2014 г., но за съжаление все още не може да намери своето решение. От 2016 г. насам ЕК не е предприела ответни действия и, въпреки че с резолюция от март 2017 г. ЕП призова да се следват правилата на европейското законодателство, механизмът за визова реципрочност и досега не е задействан.

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