Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday said that things are moving forward toward visa requirements for Canada being lifted, pointing out that he would be in touch with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in this respect.
“I hope we see very clear progress and even decisions (…) by the end of this government’s tenure. My conversation with PM Trudeau was a very good one in my opinion. If before going there he believed that the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Canada had nothing to do with the visas, after this discussion he understood that he must approach this topic on a political level and must prepare a decision. I see that things are moving, I shall keep in touch with him and I am positive that we shall see clarifications regarding Canada’s position as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told TVR 1 public television broadcaster, asked about a timeline for Canada lifting its visa requirements for Romanian nationals.
He also said that Romania does have certain levers which it will use.
“Otherwise, we do have some levers as an EU member state, which we shall definitely use, because I cannot think of Romania signing a treaty with Canada without its citizens being able to benefit on an equal footing with the other European citizens from this agreement. It is that simple,” Ciolos said.
On the other hand, the PM’s Chancellery head Dragos Tudorache announced on Wednesday at Victoria Palace that on Monday in Brussels he would have talks with Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum as well as officials of the European Commission and Bulgaria Canada lifting its visa requirements for Romanian nationals.
“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.