ArmInfo. Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament David McAllister found it difficult to tell the exact terms of launching dialog on Armenia-EU visa regime liberalization.
Thus, he noted on June 18 at the press conference in Yerevan that the EU urges to launch the new process, to start negotiations, which will allow the citizens of Armenia to travel to EU without visas. "We are ready to start this dialog. As far as I understand the current agreements are being implemented. But we should also see a reduction in the number of migrants from Armenia illegally residing in some EU member states and the implementation of key reforms, such as the fight against corruption for instance. Reforms must bear fruit. Yes, there is still much to do, but the EU is always ready to assist Armenia, "McAllister said.
Answering to ArmInfo's question about the terms of starting the dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime, McAllister particularly said: "I can not name the exact terms." Of course, starting a dialogue is important for all parties, and I understand that this is also of great importance for the Armenian nation. We welcome the successful implementation of agreements on visa facilitation and readmission.," he said. At the same time, he called for additional efforts to ensure that illegal migrants did not spend much time in Europe, did not abuse the asylum system. According to him, this issue is quite sensitive for Europe. McAllister added that progress in implementing reforms, especially on the anti-corruption front, will have a serious impact on the issue of liberalizing the visa regime, not only in the European Parliament, but also in the EU member states.
"In my personal impression, judging from the experience of Georgia and Ukraine, progress is possible. We, as members of the European Parliament, share the view that the dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime should be given new impetus and accelerated, but only if the progress I have mentioned will be documented. We have a lot of work to do. We are interested in assisting Armenia. We are carefully watching the processes in Georgia and Ukraine, want to avoid mistakes they made, "concluded the MEP. To note, on December 17, 2012 visa facilitation agreement was signed between Armenia and EU, which came into force on January 1, 2014. The agreement quickened the procedure of issuing visas in the consulates of EU countries, accredited to Armenia. The decision on issuing visa is made within 10 days and in emergency situations within two or less days. Besides, according to the agreement fewer documents are needed for receiving visa. After the signing of agreement the price of visa fell to 35 EUR versus 60 EUR, which the tourists had to pay prior to the ratification of the document. Another advantage of the facilitated visa regime is free of charge visa provided to children younger than 12, as well as to persons with disabilities and persons accompanying them. The procedure of issuing multiple entry visas has also been facilitated, which was too complex and time-consuming before. Armenian citizens with diplomatic passports do not need to receive visas. The agreement regulates the terms of Armenian citizen's stay in the territory of EU. Now this period totals 90 days in180-day period.