Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Union Code on Visas (Visa Code)

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EESRK nuomonė: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Union Code on Visas (Visa Code)

Key points

The EESC:

  • acknowledges that the Visa Code is a core element of the common visa policy, by establishing a common set of legal provisions and operational instructions;
  • supports the proposed harmonised procedures and conditions established by the Visa Code, allowing for the elimination of situations where similar cases are dealt with differently by EU Member States, while also allowing differentiated treatment based on "visa track record";
  • welcomes the harmonisation solution for multiple-entry visas, which allow their holders to travel repeatedly to the EU during the visa’s period of validity, as this could contribute to economic growth, cultural and social development and exchanges. The single-entry visas to be issued at external borders, introduced in order to promote short-term tourism, demonstrate the flexibility and pragmatic approach taken by the Member States;
  • recommends prudence when deciding on the constant up-scale revision of the proposed visa fees. This revision should not be automatic, taking into consideration that the proposed cost is already high compared to the growth/development level of some of the third countries concerned;
  • supports changes to the Visa Code that relate to the additional possibility of filling in and signing the application form electronically in order to align with technological development and requires all Member States to make the necessary developments/changes to support this online procedure;
  • considers that lodging visa applications in the most convenient and fastest way from the place of residence of the visa applicant should be pursued, including wider use of external service providers if needed and provision of better representation services, as well as increasing cooperation between diplomatic missions of the EU Member States.