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Parliamentary question - P-008300/2016Parliamentary question

Visa regime between the EU and South Africa

Question for written answer P-008300-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Tonino Picula (S&D)

For most EU Member States, holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports do not need visas when travelling to South Africa for stays of up to 90 or 30 days. However, visas are required for the citizens of seven Member States: Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

At the same time, the EU requires that citizens of South Africa obtain visas. The acquis communautaire does not contain rules for such cases and does not provide for a specific mechanism that would permit an exception to be sought from those countries as regards the requirement that all citizens obtain a visa, or that would permit the harmonisation of conditions for issuing visas, as is the case, for example, with visa reciprocity with the USA for the citizens of five Member States.

The TDCA trade agreement, which has liberalised trade for some 90% of the goods traded by the two countries, is in force between the EU and South Africa. A new agreement will soon enter into force between the EU and the SADC EPA Group. However, requiring visas for the citizens of seven Member States significantly limits the ability of their businesses and workers to compete on the South African market.

— Is the Commission considering the possibility of including South Africa on the‘whitelist’ of countries whose citizens do not need to obtain visas for the EU?— Would it be possible for this issue to be raised during the political dialogue between the EU and South Africa?