It seems that political stupidity is global. The EU has recently voted to end visa-free travel to EU nations for US citizens. What this will mean is that Americans wanting to go to any member EU countries will have to apply for an entry visa before travelling to the EU member countries. How long before and what the process is, I don’t know. Nor do I know when this is supposed to go into effect. What I do know is that this will have enormous repercussions for both the US and EU – especially economically.
How many people who are simply used to flying to Europe will decide not to visit since they have to apply for a visa for entry? How many people who will travel to Europe for work visits will simply not go, or put off the trip and do video conferencing instead? The European hospitality industry will suffer indeed as fewer Americans will want to bother with the additional paperwork.
Also, there will likely be US retaliation for this action by requiring the same reciprocal action from EU citizens travelling to the US.
Check here for a good perspective from a non-US travel blogger about the wider implications of this and related EU actions.
These travel policies have been going on for some time, several years in fact, so they have nothing to do with the new administration. However, I would think that in light of the present administration’s tendencies to act somewhat precipitously that some tactful diplomacy on the EU’s behalf would have been warranted.
One thought on “European Travel Visas?”
So the current administration doesn’t get a pass on causation because there is a good bit of rhetoric in Brussels about the executive orders around this vote. But the US has a valid gripe with the countries that don’t currently enjoy reciprocity: they have previously been passport mills giving out papers far too easily. Both the nature of the problem and the fact that this resolution changes nothing speak to the larger problem of the weak association that is the EU. Brussels neither has the teeth to get Poland et al. to clean up their passport issues, nor to get France and Germany to stop waiving visas for Americans. I wouldn’t be too worried about it yet.