ArmInfo.The EU and the European Commission are not interested in any way to make visa issues a source of income for the European Union, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations expressed this opinion to journalists in Minsk today, referring to the proposed tightening of the rules for issuing Schengen visas in a number of countries and increasing their cost.
"I believe that the EU and the European Commission are not interested in any way to make visa issues a source of income for the EU," he said, BelTA reports. At the same time, Hahn added that the purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure the rapid issuance of visas.
Earlier it became known that the EU Committee approved the negotiating mandate of the Council of the European Union for harmonization with the European Parliament of the European Commission's draft reform of the Schengen visa code. It should give Europeans more effective means of controlling borders to counter the inflow of migrants, as well as to provide some simplification of the procedure for issuing visas to "respectable travelers". However, this will result increase in the base price of the Schengen visa from 60 EUR to 80 EUR, and for countries with existing agreements on visa facilitation with the EU, from 30 EUR to 40 EUR.
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 30 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.