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Commission proposes visa-free regime to Moldova

Commission proposes visa-free regime to Moldova

The Commission proposed today to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. This proposal builds on the successful implementation by the Republic of Moldova of all the benchmarks set in its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.

"I am very pleased to propose to abolish visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. I wish to congratulate the Moldovan authorities for their efforts to implement key reforms and the important achievements they have made. The possibility to travel to the EU without a visa will further facilitate people-to-people contacts and strengthen business, social and cultural ties between the European Union and Moldova. It is my sincere hope that other Eastern partners seeking visa-free travel to the EU will continue to work towards achieving this important goal", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Commissioner Štefan Füle responsible for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy expressed his appreciation for the Moldovan partners for the successful implementation of the reforms that preceded today's proposal and stated: "I am delighted we are able to make this proposal on the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius where we also plan to initial the Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Moldova. These are significant milestones on Moldova's way to a closer political association and economic integration with Europe – and ones that will bring tangible benefits for Moldovan citizens."

The proposal to abolish visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission would very much welcome an agreement by the co-legislators before the end of the current legislature of the European Parliament.

The number of short-stay Schengen visa applications from Moldovan citizens has remained stable over the past three years (oscillating between 50,000 and 55,000). At the same time, the refusal rate for visa applications has decreased sharply from 11.4% in 2010 to 6.5% in 2012.


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