DIPLOMACY

Canada prepares to lift visas for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens

The Head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Dragos Tudorache has announced that he will discuss in Brussels on Monday with Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum and with representatives of the European Commission and of Bulgaria on cancelling visas for Canada.

“On Monday there will be a second official meeting in Brussels, to which Romania and Bulgaria are invited by the Commission and Immigration Minister McCallum will represent Canada. I will participate in this meeting. I will have a bilateral meeting with Minister John McCallum and then a tripartite meeting with the Commission and Bulgaria. We will see the phase of the talks and the commitment that Prime Minister Trudeau made in his discussion with Premier Ciolos. We remain optimistic on this issue, but I prefer to wait until Monday’s meetings before speaking on their result,” Tudorache said on Wednesday at Victoria Palace.

Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum will go to Brussels next week to solve this long-standing dispute with Romania and Bulgaria that is threatening to block the ratification of the free trade agreement between Canada and the 28 EU bloc, reports on Wednesday CBC News.ca.

Given that the signing date of the so-called Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) was established for October, Canada must act or risk that those countries dissatisfied that their citizens are treated as second-hand Europeans use their veto right.

In April, Canada and the US received within three additional months to comply with EU policy of reciprocity of visa regime, which stipulates that the countries whose citizens do not need visas must, in turn, allow freedom of movement for all EU citizens.

Canada currently requires visas for the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, while the US requires visas for the citizens of five EU states.

The European Commission is due to meet on July 13 to decide whether to impose visa reciprocity for Canadian and American citizens.

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