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EU Moves To End Visa-Free Travel For Americans

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday to reintroduce visas for U.S. citizens “within two months.”

Americans planning a trip to Europe may soon have to visit an embassy and fill out paperwork several months in advance. The resolution demands the European Commission imposes visas before the busiest tourist season starts in May.

The move is a way to put pressure on the U.S. to open up the visa waiver program to every EU nation. Citizens from 23 out of 28 EU countries can currently visit the U.S. without a visa.

“The lack of visa reciprocity affects at least 14 percent of EU citizens, namely the citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Poland as well as some EU citizens with dual nationality,” Filiz Hyusmenova, vice president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, said in a statement following the vote. “It is high time for the commission to show administrative will and political strength, not only for defending those citizens’ rights, but also for reinforcing the strength and unity of the European Union on the international scene.”

The commission failed to impose similar restrictions in 2014 after the deadline expired.

EU officials have been in contact with the Trump administration “to push for full visa reciprocity” ahead of a joint meeting in June.

“We will report on further progress made before the end of June and continue to work closely with both the European Parliament and the Council,” a European Commission spokeswoman told Reuters.

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