President Klaus Iohannis on Friday announced that an agreement has been reached between Romania and Canada for Canada to lift the visa requirements for Romanian nationals travelling to Canada as from 2017.
“I’ve got good news. This morning, an agreement was reached with Canada, a reasonable agreement for both sides, and so we are now in a very favourable position for Romania to withdraw its objection over the signing of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Romania has no longer any objection over the agreement with Canada. This is quite a good agreement,” said Iohannis.
He said May 1, 2017 is the date when the visa requirements would be lifted for Romanian nationals previously issued with a Canadian visa, while on December 1, 2017 the lifting would be valid for all Romanian nationals travelling to Canada.
He added that that a “snap pack” mechanism will be set in place so that if the number of Romanian immigrants reaches a sizeable level, Canada will be allowed to exercise its right to reinstate the visa regime temporarily.
“This snap pack provision will be in police for at most three years, after which it will be revoked under international agreement only,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that the agreement with Canada enters into force when the CETA is signed.
“The visa agreement we negotiated with Canada will come into force when the CETA is initialled,” said Iohannis.
He added that a similar agreement was reached between Bulgaria and Canada, and that only the province of Wallonia still has objections over CETA.
“I hope the other parties with reservations over the agreement will reach an agreement with Canada so that we may have the agreement, which I believe is an excellent one in essence,” said Iohannis.
PM Ciolos on visas: Intense contacts with Canadian side these days; solution has been reached
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said on Friday that over the recent days he had “intense contacts” with the Canadian side in respect to the visa regime lifting for Romanian citizens, pointing out that for Bucharest it was important that the visa requirement lifting take place in 2017 and not in 2018.
“We intensified dialogue with the Canadian side sometime this summer. (…) After consistent talks, we agreed with the Canadian side that it is important that Romania be able to ratify the commercial agreement between Canada and the European Union and solve this problem on visa lifting for Romanian citizens. We then received the promise of the prime minister that a solution will be sought. As you have seen, that solution was found. Even over the recent days, we had intense contacts with the Canadian side. To us, it was important to have the confirmation that the visa requirement lifting takes place in 2017 and not in 2018, as it was initially proposed,” Ciolos said.
The prime minister added that, although there will be a few months’ lagging behind between the moment of the Canada – EU agreement coming into force and that of the visa lifting, it is still important that a solution to this situation was found.