Last week the European Commission turned a cold shoulder to ideas of permanently banning certain EU nationals entry, and the subsequent negative impact certain rules might have on overall tourism. A Commission spokesman reportedly accused ministers of misrepresenting figures showing immigration problems.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed concerns that the European Union is stalling on a decision on the long awaited EU-Russia free visa issue. Lavrov, speaking at a meeting of the Association of European Businesses last Monday, suggested the delays have been purely political.
The EU has now granted fee visa privileges to Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina in an effort to spur democratic reforms and progress. These two Balkan republics’ citizens can now travel freely within the Schengen area, basically all of the EU. Officials warn of a withdrawal of privileges should serious problems with immigration ensue.