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.
Good news for citizens of Georgia, the new Visa Liberalization arrangement issued by the EU Commission has reached the final stage. Now citizens will be able to travel without visas in 26 countries of the EU block.
According to the most recent figures from a global study bv Visa, Russians spend on average $2,730 dollars on foreign travel, roughly 20% more than the worldwide average.
Belarus and Slovenia have begun talks to establish a Minsk-Ljubljana air service. The topic, raised in the 4th session of the Belarusian-Slovenian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic and sci-tech cooperation, could mean a bilateral agreement soon.
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.
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.
Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is all over the news of late. First running for the Presidency again, and today talking about something termed a “Eurasian Union”-or as some proclaim – a soviet bloc party renewed. But, Putin’s ideas could well solve any number of points of pain for his people.
The news that the Danish parliament moved on Friday to reintroduce limited border controls, should not really come as any surprise. With one segment of the EU pushing hard for austerity measures on the other side, and the Russian Federation being nixed at every turn on free visa travel, and general upheaval increasing overall, isn’t it clear more than one border crossing is at risk?
In news from Albania, the government there has temporarily lifted all visa requirements for travelers from Azerbaijan. For visits of up to 90 days, citizens there can travel to Albania at their leisure. This follows news that Albania allowed similar privileges to other countries.
Since we reported on the Russia-Finland Free Visa issue, visitors to the Russian Federation via high speed rail have increased by 22 percent over the same period a year ago. According to the news, some 100,600 rail passengers traveled between Finland and Russia in the first quarter of 2011.
Travelers may soon be able to enjoy the delights of South East Asia; shopping in Singapore, surfing in Bali, partying in Bangkok and cruising up the Mekong, all with just one visa, if ASEAN get their way.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offers a ray of sunshine for those who want a free-visa zone between the EU and Russia. At a press conference the Minister told reporters Russia and the EU are much closer to an agreement. So far the EU has stonewalled every attempt by the Kremlin to free up travel and tourism between Russia and the rest of Europe.
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.