EU Offers Moldova Visa-Free Regime Ahead of Eastern Partnership Summit

The European Commission proposed today to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport, having concluded that Moldova had met all the benchmarks set in its Visa Liberalization Action Plan.

“Building upon this assessment, taking into account the overall relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova and in view of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit of 28-29 November 2013, the Commission therefore proposed to transfer the country to the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from visa requirements,” a press release said.

The possibility to travel to the EU without a visa will further facilitate people-to-people contacts and strengthen business, social and cultural ties between the EU and Moldova, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström said, adding: “It is my sincere hope that other Eastern partners seeking visa-free travel to the EU will continue to work towards achieving this important goal.”

Commissioner Štefan Füle stressed the importance of offering the visa waiver to Moldova on the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius where the EU  also plans to initial the Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the country.

“These are significant milestones on Moldova’s way to a closer political association and economic integration with Europe – and ones that will bring tangible benefits for Moldovan citizens,” he said.

The EU-Republic of MoldovaVisa Liberalisation Dialogue was launched on 15 June 2010 and the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan  (VLAP) was presented to the Moldovan authorities in January 2011.

In its fifth report on the implementation of the VLAP the Commission considered that the Republic of Moldova meets all the benchmarks set in the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP.

The proposal to abolish visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission would very much welcome an agreement by the co-legislators before the end of the current legislature of the European Parliament.

Source: enpi-info.eu

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