The European Commission is going to allow visa-free travel for Turkish citizens inside Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, according to reports. As part of the deal offered Turkey for taking back migrants who crossed into Greece, Turkey is to get a free visa-ride if the country meets EU criteria.
According to news from various sources, the 26-country Schengen area could suffer a huge blow to its tourism sector stemming from the migrant crisis. Border formalities once eliminated to facilitate ease of travel, may soon be re-instituted if the crisis persists. Some experts fear, if the Schengen zone goes, the EU won’t be far behind.
Two news bits today concerning Germany’s disposition toward migrants and visitors draw further attention to key Schengen and visa discussion. A report via EurActiv speaks to one side of the German and EU PR aspect, the Roma people being the subject on the one hand. At the other end of Germany’s public relations woes, news that second generation Turks in Germany are headed home suggest the German state is in an exclusivity mood toward some.
After many months of back and forth on the issue of Bulgaria and Romania joining the European Union’s open-border Schengen area, EU President Herman Van Rompoy told reporters recently an agreement should be reached by September. During a one day trip to both countries, Van Rompoy met with Romanian President Traian Băsescu, and Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov to table a number of issues.
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.