Europe moves slowly towards the ultimate elimination of visas for Colombians and Peruvians. The member countries of the European Union have today approved the new list of exempt states this requirement, in effect since 2001. To dismiss the obligation to request this document in travel to the European Union, it is still necessary that the European Commission stating that the two countries meet the requirements and then negotiate bilateral agreements with Bogota and Lima. These procedures may delay the process at least a year, according to EU sources.

The European Council, which represents the member states of the EU, has approved a list of 19 countries (mostly Caribbean and Pacific) whose citizens can travel to the Schengen area shortly (the European area of ??freedom of movement, which does not exactly match with the 28 EU states). But first, Brussels must assess the impact that this can have in the EU, the European Council request the formal mandate to negotiate bilateral agreements and close those deals.

The measure, subject to all this bureaucratic maze, has long been claimed by Spain, which greatly pressured the EU institutions last year to include in the list of exempted Colombia and Peru, in principle excluded from the initial proposal of Brussels. The approval given by the European Parliament in late February cleared the way for final approval, although Colombians and Peruvians still have to wait for traveling without permission.

The decision will have a major impact on both countries. Only in 2013, the Schengen States issued 121,019 visas to 48,488 Colombians and Peruvians, according to the European Commission. Traffic is likely to increase with the disappearance of obstacles.

So far, these citizens should ask for a tourist visa that allows them to move freely within the Schengen area for up to 90 days. This document requires a number of procedures, time and money that will disappear with the new regulation. Colombians and Peruvians were able to travel to Europe without him until 2001, when the EU has restricted the possibility, with the implicit agreement, then ruled by Spain José María Aznar, who abstained. This measure, in turn designed to tighten controls against countries where there is significant drug market (besides a great potential immigration), fell like a bucket of cold water in the two Latin American countries.

The list of countries whose citizens can freely enter the EU countries for short stays also includes UAE although, paradoxically, in this case the European Commission sees no need to make any assessment of the impact on the community club.

The disappearance of visas in the Schengen area virtually guarantees mobility across Europe. This space consists of 23 EU states plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. But Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, four of the community that are outside Schengen, tend to adhere to the policies of the Schengen area. More doubts have UK and Ireland, which have their own visa policy.

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