Action Plan on visa liberalisation with the Republic of Moldova
Commissioner Malmström presents Action Plan on visa liberalisation with the Republic of Moldova
On 24 January 2011, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, started a two-day visit to the Republic of Moldova. Commissioner Malmström presented the Action Plan on visa liberalisation to Prime Minister Vlad Filat. The Action Plan sets out all technical conditions to be met by Moldova before the possible establishment of a visa-free travel regime.
As a first step towards the long term goal of visa-free travel, Moldovan citizens already enjoy the benefits of a visa facilitation agreement with the EU since 1 January 2008. The Republic of Moldova lifted the visa obligation on EU citizens on 1 January 2007. The visa facilitation agreement sets a lower visa fee (€35 instead of €60) for all Moldovan visa applicants, and waives fees for broad categories of citizens such as children, pensioners, students, people visiting family members living in the EU, people in need of medical treatment, economic operators working with EU companies, sportsmen and women, participants in cultural exchanges, journalists, etc. In 2009 and 2010, more than half of Schengen visas issued in Moldova were issued free of charge. The visa facilitation agreement also simplifies and accelerates procedures and provides for easier access to multiple-entry visas of longer duration. Further facilitations shall be introduced by the envisaged renegotiation of the visa facilitation agreement.
At the EU-Republic of Moldova Cooperation Council on 21 December 2009 the parties agreed to launch during 2010 a dialogue examining the conditions for future visa-free travel of Moldovan citizens to the EU. The European Commission duly launched a dialogue on visa-free travel with the Republic of Moldova on 15 June 2010. This visa dialogue allowed the European Union and the Moldovan authorities to examine the technical preconditions for the establishment of a visa-free regime for Moldovan citizens. On 16 December 2010, the Council endorsed the Commission’s Action Plan on visa liberalisation for the Republic of Moldova.