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EU will not suspend visa-free travel for U.S. and Canadian citizens

Staff Writer |
The EU will not suspend visa-free travel to the bloc for U.S. and Canadian citizens despite the two countries' failure to lift visa requirements for all EU citizens, the European Commission said.

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In response to the European Parliament's call in March to reinstate visa requirements for the U.S. and Canada due to the lack of full reciprocity, the commission said that such a move would be "counterproductive".

Under a previous agreement, U.S. citizens can travel to all EU countries without visas in return for EU citizens being able to do the same.

However, citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania are still not allowed to enter the U.S. under a visa waiver programme.

Canada, which did not allow Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to travel visa-free laid out a plan last year to fully lift requirements for citizens of those two EU countries by December 1.

"Our continued engagement and patient diplomatic contacts over the past year have brought tangible results already with Canada, and we are committed to proceeding in the same way with the U.S.," said Dimitris Avramopoulos, European commissioner for home affairs.

He noted that the commission had re-launched contacts with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to continue pushing for full reciprocity.

"Dialogue with our strategic partners is the right way forward and we are on the right track," Avramopoulos said.

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