European Parliament Votes to End Visa-free Travel for U.S. Passport Holders
Today the European parliament has passed a nonbinding resolution that would prohibit visa-free travel for U.S. citizens to countries in the European Union. This decision comes in retaliation to the United States’ failure to allow visa-free travel for citizens of five EU nations (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania).
Previously, travellers from the U.S. have enjoyed visa-free travel throughout the EU, and if implemented by the European Commission, this new prohibition will mandate that Americans apply and pay for their papers before entering any EU nation for the following 12 months at least.
Due to the United States’ failure to meet the agreement to let all citizens of EU nations travel to the U.S. visa-free, the European Commission is legally obligated to suspend the visa waiver for Americans. However, the wider European Parliament or the Council of the European Union may object to this action.
There is currently some backlash to the vote–Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned of potential “retaliation” and substantial losses for the continent’s tourism industry.
For now, U.S. citizens can continue to travel to the EU without first applying for a visa, but whether this allowance will continue remains to be seen.