European Union Opens Schengen Zone To Moldovans

By Editorial 11 April, 2014

A European Commission official has hailed a deal that allows Moldovans to travel in the Schengen zone for short visits without a visa as "an excellent example for other countries of the region."

Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström praised Moldova's implementation of reforms, and said that the outcome showed that "the EU is committed to deliver on engagements with third countries wishing to work with us."

The EC launched 'Visa Dialogue' with Moldova on June 2010. The EC said that, since that time, the country has reformed the Ministry of Interior, modernized its Border Police, and continued smooth cooperation with EU member states and police forces on criminal matters. The EC also believes Moldova has implemented "a solid framework" for border management with Ukraine. The EC adds that there have been serious efforts to implement a Law on Ensuring Equality and a National Human Rights Action Plan, and to strengthen the Ombudsman's office.

However, Moldovan travelers will need to hold a biometric passport to take advantage of the new rule, which will be effective from April 28. Moldovans with non-biometric passports can meanwhile continue to take advantage of a Visa Facilitation Agreement, which was introduced in 2008 and upgraded last year. This agreement sets a lower application fee, which is waived for a number of broad categories, and includes simplified and accelerated procedures.

Malmström added that the move would "further facilitate people-to-people contacts and strengthen business, social, and cultural ties between the European Union and Moldova."

EU citizens have been able to travel to Moldova without a visa since the start of 2007.

Tags: European Commission | Moldova | European Union (EU) | Expats | Visas And Passports | Europe |


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