EU-Belarus: Negotiations Launched on Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements

The EU and Belarus have launched negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreements. A meeting took place in Brussels this week between Stefano Manservisi of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Home Affairs, and Belarus Deputy Foreign Minister Alena Kupchyna. The negotiations will focus on agreements to facilitate procedures for issuing short-stay visas and on the readmission of irregular migrants between the EU and Belarus, a press release from the EU Delegation to Belarus said.

Since 2011, the Commission has been regularly reminding of its readiness to launch negotiations. Visa facilitation agreements go hand-in-hand with readmission agreements between the EU and third countries, and both documents can only enter into force simultaneously.

Readmission agreements set out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of EU member states and third countries concerned as to when and how to take back people who are illegally residing on the territories of the parties.

So far, the EU has signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements with eleven countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Cape Verde and Armenia.


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