Caribbean benefits from VISA Free entry to Europe

| January 12, 2014

Caribbean news. The Permanent Representatives (COREPER) agreed to add 19 countries to the EU visa-free travel list. The final adoption of the text is expected early in 2014.

On 13 December, Lithuanian ambassador Raimundas Karoblis, chair of COREPER II said about the expansion of the EU visa-free regime. “Our today’s agreement is a significant step towards the future visa-free travel between the European Union and the 19 third countries.

The Presidency strongly believe in the benefits of the visa-free travels and is very glad to have achieved the agreement among the Member States,” said

European and Caribbean flags. Photo courtesy ee24.com

European and Caribbean flags. Photo courtesy ee24.com

Citizens of 16 Caribbean and Pacific countries (Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) as well as United Arab Emirates, Peru and Colombia will be able to travel without visa in the EU.

However, according to the Lithuanian Presidency, to benefit from the visa-free travels, each of the 19 countries will still have to conclude a bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement with the EU.

Welcome to Europe. Photo courtesy www.nydailynews.com

Welcome to Europe. Photo courtesy www.nydailynews.com

The Presidency said in a press release, that Lithuania has put a major emphasis on the EU visa policy.

EU and Azerbaijan have already signed a Visa Facilitation Agreement, while the same agreement with Armenia is expected to enter into force from January 1, 2014.

The Lithuanian Presidency will also start the Visa Facilitation talks with Morocco, the first such agreement in the EU’s Southern neighbourhood.

According to the Commission, the visa-free access to the Schengen Area is based on the progress made by the countries concerned in implementing major reforms in areas such as the strengthening of the rule of law, combating of organised crime, corruption and illegal migration and improving of administrative capacity in border control and security of documents. Article courtesy http://www.neurope.eu

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