Europe without Barriers proposes brief analysis of the statistics of Shengen visas issuance in 2012, which was recently published by the European Commission. Soon the experts of CI Europe without Barriers will make wider analysis of the published statistics.
On March 29 2013 the experts of the CI Europe without Barriers and the partner analytical centers held the press conference Move Towards the Visa-Free Regime with the EU: Where is Ukraine Today? In the event also participated Iryna Gerashchenko - First deputy of the Head of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the European Integration issues and Oleksiy Mervinskyi – Head of the State Service of Ukraine on Personal Data Protection.
Piotr Kaźmierkiewicz, expert at the Institute of Public Affairs (Poland), suggests that the EU should revisit its visa policy toward the neighbor states. The expert rises up this issue in his article for European Voice.
The establishment of Unified State Demographic Register suspends the process of implementation of the Ukraine-EU visa free regime. It affirms that Ukrainian government has chosen the longest and the most expensive way toward the visa free regime with the European Union.
Marta Jaroszewicz, seniour research fellow at Centre for Eastern Studies (Poland), presents the reserch paper on V4 states' visa liberalization policies. The author highlights the main challenges the EU project in Eastern Europe faced with. The author notes that the Vishegrad states could play the special role in liberalization of the visa-regime between the EU and the Eastern European countries and suggests several measures which could be taken in this area.
Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies presented a research EU-Belarus Visa Regime Facilitation: Existing Barriers and Expected Benefits. The author Andrey Eliseyeu studies the evolution of the EU-Belarus visa relations, investigates the preconditions of s for the visa facilitation between the EU and Belarus, explains existing barriers in this sphere, and finds out, how far has Belarus progressed in its visa relations with the EU compared to the other Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.
Written by Piotr Kaźmierkiewicz of the Institute of Public Affairs in Poland, Time to De-link Visas and Migration takes a critical look at the factors that have slowed down efforts at visa liberalization and calls on civil society, national governments and the EU to reconsider the roles they have played in the process.
The Coordination Council on migration held joint meeting of experts dealing with migration issues. The Council has been established in June, 2012 by leading Ukrainian experts on migration with and aim to consolidate expert’s cooperation regarding research on migration movements of Ukrainians abroad; provide expert analysis and recommendations to the main decision making institutions of the EU and Ukraine, boost implementation of wide-ranging reforms needed to be implemented in the frame of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement agenda.
The European Stability Initiative published a paper on the issue of Western Balkan asylum claims. The analysis propeses solutions on how to cope with a sharp rise in unfounded asylum claims in the region, which may caused the re-introduction of visa requirements for the Western Balkan' countries.
To facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experience and good practice on visa liberalisation issues the delegation of experts and officials from the Eastern Partnership, Western Balkan states and Poland gathered for the meeting in Georgia on November 23-24.
Visa-free Europe Coalition launched the Eastern Partnership Visa Liberalisation Index as a tool that shows the results of independent assessment of progress achieved by the Eastern Partnership countries towards visa liberalisation with the EU. This Index is a common work of experts of each of the EaP countries, incuding experts from Europe without Barriers.
Is the EU edging closer to making a fundamental and strategic mistake by restoring the visa requirement for citizens of the Western Balkans?At this moment the interior ministers of six EU countries - Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden - are pushing for a reversal of the most significant decision made in the past decade to further the European integration of the Western Balkans. The issue is also on the agenda of the justice and home affairs council on 25/26 October this week.
On October 3, 2012 in the Igor Haidai’s Studio, Europe without Barriers hold the exhibition - presentation of art and advocacy project “Visa?” What’s the Reason?”. In such a creative manner Europe without Barriers presented inside and outside look of the problem of the freedom of movement in the Eastern part of Europe. The presentation has been accompanied by a public discussion about the borders, visas and freedom of movement. During the discussion the experts, media, civic activists tried to find out a way to overcome these artificially created barriers between people.
Europe without Barriers publishes the main monitoring findings on the visa policy of the EU and Schengen Member States in 2012. The publication contains analysis of the implementation practice of the main provisions of the EU-Ukraine Visa Facilitation Agreement and the EU Visa Code. Four types of visa practice - friendly», «neutral» and «problematic» consular practices are also comprised into analysis.
On September 24, Civic Initiative “Europe without Barriers” held an expert roundtable discussion: “The EU visa practice in 2012: are there any changes?”. During the roundtable the research findings on visa practices of the EU and Schengen States (the 6th waves) in Ukraine were presented. The event was attended by the experts from the EU and Eastern Partnership countries. The monitoing has been supported by the European Programme and “East-East” Programme of the International Renaissance Foundation.
The signatory organizations, representing more than one million companies in the EU. It is supported by the leading business associations of Denmark, Finland, Poland and Italy. Later on business associations from the Czech Republic, Spain and Turkey joined the initiative.The “common position” states that business visa requirements are a substantial impediment to international business; hence, their liberalization is a precondition for growth and job creation.
Europe without Barriers publishes Open letter of Visa-Free Coalition to the EC calls on the EC to propose progression of the Republic of Moldova to the second phase of the implementation of the Action Plan n Visa Liberalisation (VLAP). The letter contains appeal of more than 40 organizations from all the Europe, including Ukraine (Europe without Barriers). Also we include the official respond of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission Cecilia Malmstrom.
On Tuesday, August 7, 2012 the “Association for youth rights protection” presented analytical report: “Monitoring of visa policy of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lutsk”. The six wave of monitoring on issuing visas by Polish Consulate in Lutsk has been conducted in June and July, current year. The project aimed to continue observation of the main visa issuance practices of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lutsk.
On Thursday, 19 of July, Civic Initiative Europe without Barriers in cooperation with Barcelona Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) presented outcomes of the research: «Ukraine-Spain migration nexus: benefits and risks in the context of visa liberalisation between the EU and Ukraine» carried out in 2011 – 2012 at support of the European Programme of International Renaissance Foundation.
One of the important events which took place last week was the EC’s statement of Moldova’s successful compleation of all benchmarks of the first phase of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation (VLAP), aimed at abolition by the EU of short-term stay visas for that country.