On April 20, the European Commission proposed to the European Parliament and the EU Council to abolish visas for Ukrainians, despite mixed results of the Netherlands’ referendum.
The corresponding document was published on the website of the European Commission.
This proposal comes after the Commission gave a positive assessment last December, confirming that Ukraine successfully met all benchmarks under the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan presented in November 2010.
The European Commission recommends exempt Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports from the need to obtain a visa for travel to the Schengen countries for up to 90 days.
It’s worth to noting that the visa-free regime for Ukrainians will not work when traveling to the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Cancellation of visas does not provide for the right to work in the EU.
Of course, the recommendation of the European Commission is not a guarantee that the visas will be cancelled as sure as death. But this is an important positive shift in the right direction.
Now the European Commission’s proposal must go through a long negotiation process: between the EU member states and the European Parliament.
In any case, all 28 countries of the community should unanimously support a visa-free regime for Ukraine.