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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2021
Answer given by President von der Leyen
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000777/2021

Whilst the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) are free to determine their respective visa policies, the UK has committed in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to treat all nationals of EU Member States equally for the purposes of visas for short-term visits. The UK’s reduction of visa fees relates to long-term visas, which are not covered by the TCA. The Commission regrets that the UK decided to treat EU citizens differently in this specific case. Commission Vice-President Šefčovič raised the issue in his meeting with the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 11 February 2021. He will continue to make the point to the new UK co-Chair, in their future contacts.

The Commission confirms its resolve to uphold the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination and to take into account the interest of all Union citizens in the course of the implementation of the TCA. When monitoring the application of the TCA, the Commission will be vigilant to any actions by the UK discriminating between the Member States or their citizens and will take any appropriate measure in that regard.

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