Procedure : 2016/2986(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000142/2016

Texts tabled :

O-000142/2016 (B8-1820/2016)

Debates :

PV 14/12/2016 - 20
CRE 14/12/2016 - 20

Votes :

PV 02/03/2017 - 6.5

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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17 November 2016
Question for oral answer O-000142/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Claude Moraes, on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

 Subject: Obligations in the field of visa reciprocity in accordance with Article 1(4) of Regulation 539/01
 Answer in plenary 

In 2013 Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation 1289/2013 modifying, among other elements, the so called reciprocity mechanism of Regulation 539/2001. The objective of this mechanism is to ensure that EU citizens are subject to the same conditions when travelling to a third country as nationals of that third country are when travelling to the EU. The reciprocity mechanism initiates a procedure, with precise timeframes and actions to be taken with a view to ending a situation of non-reciprocity, the moment such a situation is notified by a Member State to the Commission. Notifications by five Member States were published by the Commission on 12 April 2014(1). The mechanism foresees, after intermediary steps, that ‘if the third country has not lifted the visa requirement within 24 months of the date of publication of the notifications, the Regulation requires the Commission to adopt a delegated act temporarily suspending for 12 months the visa waiver for nationals of that third country’(2).

Instead of presenting the delegated act as required, however, on 12 April 2016 the Commission decided to present the communication cited above to explain the state of play. This was followed by a further communication on 13 July 2016 (COM(2016)0481).

In this context, the Commission is asked to answer the following:

1. Does it share the legal assessment according to which it is obliged to adopt a delegated act – temporarily suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of third countries which have not lifted the visa requirement for citizens of certain EU Member States – within a period of 24 months from the date of publication of the notifications in this regard, which ended on 12 April 2016?

2. In the event that it agrees with the assessment that it is obliged to adopt a delegated act, by when will the Commission present the delegated act?

3. If it does not agree, what are its reasons for not doing so?

(1) OJ C 111, 12.4.2014, p.1.
(2) COM(2016)0221, p.3. See letter (f) of Article 1(4) of Regulation 539/01.

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