Parliamentary questions
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9 February 2011

Question for oral answer O-000034/2011

to the Commission

Rule 115

Jan Březina, Zuzana Roithová, Simon Busuttil, Csaba Sógor, Elisabeth Jeggle, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Petru Constantin Luhan, Monica Luisa Macovei, Elena Oana Antonescu, Mariya Nedelcheva, Elena Băsescu

on behalf of the PPE Group

  Subject:  Canadian visa requirement for Czech, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens

The current state of affairs concerning the Canadian visa requirement for Czech, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens is undermining the EU’s common visa policy, which is based on reciprocity and is meant to promote freedom of movement for all EU citizens. There should be no doubt that in this matter the Commission stands on the side of EU citizens and the EU Member States. If that is not the case, we fear that the EU’s common visa policy would be rendered meaningless.

We therefore urge the Commission to step up its involvement with the aim of restoring and securing visa reciprocity. The Commission has a mandate by virtue of its responsibility for the EU’s common visa policy and its ability to take effective action.

1.  How does the Commission assess the effectiveness of the EU's approach to the issue thus far?

2.  What is the Commission's position on Canada's efforts to make the lifting of the visa requirement contingent on a number of conditions, such as the reform of the Canadian asylum system, a decrease in the number of asylum seekers, or minority integration policies in an EU Member State? In that connection, does the Commission regard Canada’s promise merely to carry out a review of its asylum policy as sufficient?

3.  Does the Commission intend to increase the pressure on Canada to take practical steps to lift the visa requirement? If so, what means will the Commission employ to achieve this goal, not least in the context of the expected results of the Canadian fact-finding mission to the Czech Republic?

4.  What concrete steps will the Commission take to implement the EU-Canada Summit Statement of 2010 which includes a commitment to resolve the remaining issues blocking visa-free travel for all EU citizens?

5.  What is the Commission doing to address push factors, such as the treatment of Roma minorities in the European Union?

Tabled: 9.2.2011

Forwarded: 11.2.2011

Deadline for reply: 18.2.2011

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