Readmission Agreement Eu Belarus
MEPs stress that Belarus has committed in recent years to improving respect for universal freedoms, the rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression, expression and media, as well as workers` rights. They also point out that all this is a fundamental criterion for EU policy towards third countries and that the visa facilitation agreement could be fully or partially suspended for reasons of human rights and democracy. The two agreements do not apply to Denmark or Ireland. The EU-Belarus visa facilitation and readmission agreements come into force today. These agreements are an important step in strengthening the EU`s commitment to the people and civil society of Belarus. They will pave the way for better mobility of citizens travelling to the EU from Belarus and help to strengthen ties between Belarus and the EU. This is accompanied by an agreement on the readmission of irregular residents. The readmission agreement provides clear obligations and procedures for EU Member States and Belarus with regard to the readmission of citizens staying irregularly on the territory of the other party without authorisation. The agreement applies to the readmission of third-country nationals as well as third-country nationals and stateless persons, provided they have a clear link with the required country (for example. B a visa or residence permit). The agreement guarantees full respect for human rights and other obligations under international conventions. The Council today adopted two decisions on an agreement to facilitate the issuance of visas and a readmission agreement with Belarus.
The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper for Belarusian citizens travelling to the Schengen area and for EU citizens travelling to Belarus to obtain a visa. The agreement simplifies documentation, which must be provided by certain categories of citizens, as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas to certain categories of frequent flyers. In addition, the overhead costs of processing visa applications will be reduced to 35 euros. Diplomatic passport holders are exempt from the visa requirement. This agreement applies to short-term travel defined as a stay of no more than 90 days over a 180-day period. In the agreements, the parties recognize the importance of obligations and responsibilities, including respect for human rights and democratic principles, arising from relevant international conventions applicable to them. EU citizens can already travel to Belarus without a visa for up to 30 days, provided they cross the border at Minsk International Airport. The new contract is reciprocal for longer periods of up to 90 days over a 180-day period.
Visa statistics show the growing importance of EU-Belarus relations. In 2019, the number of Schengen visa applications in Belarus reached nearly 650,000. The conclusion of an agreement on the facilitation of visa issuance is an important step in relations between our peoples and will help strengthen our economic, cultural and scientific relations. “The simplification of travel to and from the EU, both for Belarusian citizens and for EU citizens, is an important step towards further cooperation and understanding between the EU and Belarus, as well as a dialogue on democratic values.