Ideology of public initiative “Europe without Barriers” is based on the confidence in the necessity of waiving visa barriers within Europe as an outdated, archaic and inefficient tool for migration control.
Thousands of stories of law-abiding citizens attest the discriminatory essence of visa barriers which turned into significant obstacle for human contacts after the end of the Cold War. The iron curtain has fallen but it was replaced by the similar discontenting “velvet” curtain of hard-to-get visas.
It is a pity that at the same time when the largest area for free movement of persons, known as the Schengen zone, was created, it was externally closed. Such closure is particularly touchy for nations residing in the nearby territories as they have historically enjoyed tight ties with their neighbors on the social, personal and professional levels.
Visa regime is an obstacle for law-abiding citizens while criminals successfully overcome it, though such regime was initially planned to tackle criminality. At least we do not have objective evidence that visa regimes actually tackle illegal migration and international crime, i.e. those problems which are supposed to justify strict visa regulations.
Current development of technologies, including bio metric ones, enables efficient migration control at the borders of the Schengen zone and other countries of Europe without applying visa regimes.
Thus, visa barriers in Europe should fall.
It is obvious that a certain path should be taken in order to reach this aim.
Governments of the countries which are outside Schengen Europe should demonstrate political will and organizational capacity to fulfill their “homework” and meet the standards of security and reliability which will convince the governments of EU Member States in the possibility to waive visa obligations.
Everyone will benefit from realization of these tasks – both EU neighboring countries which will acquire higher internal security standards and EU Member States which will be surrounded by safer neighbors.
EU Member States should assist their neighbors in forming (by approving “roadmaps”) and fulfilling the set tasks as the final benefit will be mutual.
Civil society on both side of the Schengen border should unite the efforts in order to draw nearer the day when the dream about free movement of persons within Europe will become a reality.