Criteria for visa-free access to Schengen Area met for Peru and Colombia

Criteria for visa-free access to Schengen Area met for Peru and Colombia
Thursday October 30, 2014
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Peru and Colombia have met standards to be considered for visa-free-access to the European region after years of rising economic conditions and improved security.

The reasons for negotiating the visa status of Peru en Columbia were explained in detail in two reports that were released yesterday by the European Commission. There is still much to be investigated although the countries fulfill many criteria such as economic opportunity, lower security threats and low irregular migration levels. The threat of drug trafficking and thus illegal migrants from Peru and Colombia into the region of the 26 European countries is the primary concern.

The European Parliament along with other relevant committees and groups will discuss the reports from this point.

With each of the two countries the European Commission will seek approval from Council to negotiate short-stay visa agreements.

Visa-free access for Peruvians and Colombians to the Schengen Area may be a reality by mid-2015, because once the Council authorizes, negotiations would not begin until the first few months of 2015.

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström said: “By abolishing the visa obligation we will be fostering mobility and people-to-people contacts. Something that is fundamental to reinforce the social and economic development and mutual understanding between the EU and other countries.

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