Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2016. (Photo: Martial Trezzini/EPA via CP)
'Full visa waiver reciprocity'"Achieving full visa waiver reciprocity for citizens of all member states is the objective for the European Commission and a fundamental principle of our common visa policy," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Deal with Mexico adds to pressureFirst, the Liberals recently announced they will lift visa requirements on Mexican nationals. And EU officials say if it can be done for Mexicans, it should be done for Europeans. Second, full ratification of the Canada-EU free trade agreement is at stake, with the possibility that Romania and Bulgaria will refuse to sign the deal if the visas remain. McCallum travelled to Brussels last week to smooth some ruffled diplomatic feathers on both counts. "Our dialogues underline the importance of the strong bonds between Canada and the European Union," McCallum and Avramopoulos said in a joint statement after the meeting. Officials from the immigration department have already travelled to Romania to assess issues on the ground there. They will be making a similar trip to Bulgaria this month. Canada and the EU are to hold a summit in Brussels this October. "The Commission looks forward to the EU-Canada Summit, which will take place on 27-28 October 2016, as the occasion to confirm tangible progress on the lifting of the visa requirement for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens," Wednesday's statement said.
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