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Visa-free suspension formula created by the EU

May 26, 2011

As you are all quite well aware dear readers, the Eu and Ukraine are well down the path of Visa-free travel negotiations. Road maps have been officially given and received, and I am informed that Ukraine will be over 90% of the way towards achieving the parameters of the road map by the end of 2011.

All jolly good. It seems likely that Ukraine will join the other 41 nations who enjoy Visa-free travel with the EU (relating to short-term stay/tourism) with those notable tourist powerhouses to the EU tourist trade of Brunei, Macau and St Kitts and Nevis.

Unfortunately, everything works well within the EU until it doesn’t. An example being the Euro and the ECB, when one action helps certain nations but inherently harms others. Nations opting in or out of specific legislation for their own national interest is another. The EU Working Time Directive is another example.

This issues with Schengen have been brought to light in such regard. There was the issue of the Roma in France and then currently Italy giving large numbers of illegals from Libya temporary leave to remain and France subsequently closing its border with Italy and removing numerous Libyan nationals from the train before they could enter France.

Last year, Albania and Bosnia were also granted Visa-free travel with the EU, shortly after Serbia and Macedonia had been given the same visa-free regime. Unfortunately the good citizens of Serbia and Macedonia used this new found freedom to travel to enter certain EU nations and promptly claim asylum. Asylum was of course refused and these citizens returned to their respective countries.

The EU has now decided that any agreed Visa-free regime with any specific nation can be temporarily suspended should there be a recognised influx of those overstaying or seeking asylum.

Apart from Ukraine, other nations currently negotiating visa-free travel with the EU are Moldova, Georgia and also a push from Russia.

It is muted that Tunisia, Egypt and Libya will also eventually start along this path (with the obvious carrot and stick diplomacy from the EU towards democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech etc should they want the prize). That will obviously not sit well with Turkey should they get visa-free before them considering Turkey is a fellow NATO member and the most democratic Muslim state on the planet.

It seems to me that although I very much doubt there will be a long-term exodus from Ukraine of asylum seekers and over staying citizens, that there should be a prolonged and highly visible (to the point of irritating) media campaign informing Ukrainians of the rules and the effects of breaking the rules for their fellow countrymen and women should they do so in sufficient numbers.

As many a “Ukrainian wife hunter” has found out to their cost, Ukrainians are not that keen to live outside of Ukraine anymore. The allure of living in “the West” is not what it once was 10 or 15 years ago. Many have been to “the West” already and returned without overstaying their Visa numerous times. Whilst it is a concern, it is unlikely that several million Ukrainians will enter the EU and not return. Quite frankly, most EU nations are no better off than Ukraine and quite a few are no further developed in hard infrastructure either.

Nevertheless, it is still my opinion, that as the time draws near to Visa-free travel for Ukrainians, towards the end of 2012 with a fair wind, a very brazen and “in your face” information campaign would do neither the EU or Ukraine any harm whatsoever. I would consider it necessary to avoid the issues of Serbia and Macedonia.

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