EU Parliament votes to end visa-free travel for US citizens

In response to the recent refusal of Europeans travel to America visa-free with the Schengen visa-free benefit the European Parliament has struck back stating that they will refuse access to the states without valid visa documentation. The current visa war is looking to come to an end when it was agreed only in March 2017 that all people that travel from America to a European destination will now need to have additional travel documents to gain entry which 5 of the European countries are bound by the same rules when travelling to America.

From the moment the statement was released the EU commission were given was months for the reintroduction of Visas to take place after informing American Citizens that it was something they now were obliged to do by law. As there was no response within the time given to reply to visa reciprocity the suspension has now been granted.

Many travellers see the necessity to apply for a visa before they travel to another country a turn off due to the costs accrued and time it takes for all the paperwork to be finalised. In most cases countries that want their economy boosted by tourism relax the rules to encourage new visitors. It is felt that the move that has been made by the EU could hinder the tourism industry in all involved countries.

Although it is important to respect the rules surrounding the visa waivers it has been deemed unfair that the rule only seems to work one way. The suspension of the existing waiver is predicted to have a harmful impact on both the economy and politically by making it harder for Americans to visit Europe. Another concern is the fact that a decline in tourism from America will reduce the amount of available job posts that are in place to cover the needs of tourists.

The first time the European commission was made aware of the Americans failure to make waiver rights fair was back in 2014. As a result America alone with Australia, Japan, Brunei and Canada were given a deadline to which they had to respond within two years. During the time all Countries involved except for America have already lifted the suspension or are planning to do so by the end of 2017. It was argued that there have been previous cases where security requirements were not met by the countries which was why additional paperwork was required to gain entry.

The visa free program was opened to countries that have a low risk of immigrant refusal rates and violations, however America do not feel the countries they have omitted meet these terms. America have kept contact regarding the matter but a resolution could not be reached. With around 30 million Americans visiting Europe every single year bringing in over $54 billion the proposed move has been extremely concerning for those that work in tourism in Europe as their job posts may no longer be required.

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