European Commission`s Reply to the Assessment of the Envisaged Reform of EU Visa Rules

In May 2014 we published on our website the document developed by dr Marek Porzycki. Today you can read the reply of the EC.

Under the text you can view dr Porzycki`s document as pdf file.

“Dear Mr Porzycki,
Thank you for your message of 2 April 2014 regarding the Commission’s proposal on a recast of the Visa Code. I sincerely apologize for the delay in replying.

First of all, I would like to thank you for the constant interest in the development of the common visa policy which we could already appreciate in your contribution to the public consultation that the Commission launched ahead of the preparation of the evaluation report on the implementation of the Visa Code.

Please find below our comments on the queries and observations that you have made in your message. As regards the implication of the proposed new rules on mandatory issuing of multiple entry visas (MEV) to “VIS registered regular travellers” who have lawfully used two visas issued in the past 12 months for those already holding an MEV on the basis of the (existing) rules, I should stress that obviously, the new rules would not exclude the issuing of multiple entry visas with a long validity to other categories of persons which can be seen by the maintenance of the provisions of Article 21(5) (Article 24(2) of the existing Visa Code).

Under this article, a person “who proves the need or justifies the intention to travel frequently and/or frequently” may be issued a multiple entry visa valid for up to 5 years, “provided that the applicants proves his integrity and reliability, in particular the lawful use of previous uniform visas…

The proposed new rules are intended to trigger facilitations to “new” applicants. Persons who already have a “positive visa history” in the sense that they have been issued MEVs earlier and have used them lawfully would obviously continue to benefit from the existing rules as described above. In the same way, lawful use of previous national long stay visas and residence permits can also be taken into account in the assessment of applications for multiple entry visas under the current Article 24(2).

We therefore believe that the above new provisions in combination with the existing provisions that are carried over in the recast will contribute to meeting the overall objective which is to facilitate travel for legitimate “bona fide” travellers. As regards your comments on the “discrepancy” in the formulation of paragraphs (3) and (4) of Article 21(3), it can of course not be excluded that in such a long text minor linguistic issues might be detected during the examination, but in our view the formulation of Article 21(3) “valid for at least three years” opens for even further facilitations because Member States could also in specific cases decide to issue an MEV valid for 4 or 5 years to this category of persons.

Even if it is not explicitly indicated in paragraph (4) that a person who has lawfully used a 4- or 5-year MEV should next time be issued a MEV valid for 5 years, we think that this can be deducted from the context. We will nevertheless pay attention to the risk of misinterpretation during the negotiation process.

As regards the relation between the (recast) Visa Code and the existing visa facilitation agreements (VFAs) between the EU and specific third countries, I recall that after the entry into force of the 2009-Visa Code, the VF As in place, e.g. the agreements with Moldova and Ukraine, have been “upgraded” to take account of the general facilitations set out in the
Visa Code. Such an exercise will of course also be carried out, if relevant, when the recast Visa Code has been adopted and enters into force.

Yours sincerely,
Jan De Ceuster
Head of Unit”

You can read dr Porzycki`s document here: Visa_Code_Reform_Review

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