European Commission stands for simplification of visa regime with Azerbaijan
The European Commission is planning to approve the proposals for negotiations on simplification of visa regime with Azerbaijan and Armenia next year, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmström said on Monday at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, UNIAN reported.
"Next year we plan to adopt proposals for negotiations on agreements on simplifying the visa regime with Azerbaijan and Armenia", she said.
Among participants of the "Eastern Partnership" only Ukraine and Moldova have today existing agreements on visa facilitation, Commissioner noted. In addition, the ratification process of the same agreement with Georgia is almost finished, and recently the European Commission put forward a proposal to start negotiations on the agreement on simplifying visa regime with Belarus.
Based on the Agreement, fees for the consideration of visa applications will be reduced from 60 to 35 Euros. Some categories will be exempt from fees for the consideration of visa applications. The Agreement entitles holders of diplomatic passports to up to 90-day visa-free movement on the territories of the state parties to the Agreement.
The Eastern Partnership Program is a Polish-Swedish initiative under the EU Neighborhood Policy aimed at improving EU relations with six former Soviet countries Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine and Armenia. The program envisages the allocation of 600 million euro to these countries until 2013 to strengthen state institutions, control borders and help small companies. The program's constituent summit was held in Prague on May 7, 2008.