tonino picula.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ /lsd

Croatia and Cyprus are very close to meeting the formal visa waiver criteria, independently of a decision by European institutions on the introduction of visas for US citizens, according to US Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Gardner, Croatian member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula said in a press release on Wednesday.

Gardner said so in response to a question by Picula on the introduction of visa reciprocity for the five EU member states whose citizens still need a visa for the US - Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

A two-year deadline for the introduction of visa reciprocity ended on April 12. The European Commission has asked the Council of the EU and the European Parliament to present their views on further actions by July 12. In case of majority support in the two institutions, one of the options is the introduction of visas for US citizens travelling to the EU.

Some of the five countries have initiated official proceedings, while the others are more inclined towards a compromise, Picula said in talks with Gardner in Strasbourg, adding that he saw the free movement of persons as a prerequisite for the free movement of goods and services.

Gardner said he hoped the inefficient and expensive reintroduction of visa requirements would be avoided, adding that it would impact other dimensions of transatlantic relations too, the press release said.

Picula and another 11 MEPs have submitted to the Council and the Commission a written statement on the achievement of full visa reciprocity between the EU and the US in which they point out to discrimination in the relations and that it could jeopardise negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

MEPs can sign the statement over the next three months. It needs to be signed by at least half the MEPs to be forwarded to EU institutions, the press release said.

Related stories

No progress in EU-US visa talks

Brunei cancels visa requirements for Croatian citizens

Latest news

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.

Croatian government condemns extremism

The Croatian government on Sunday condemned all forms of extremism and acts of provocative nature aimed against the Serb minority in Vukovar as well as the rally organised by the Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Friday.

Approx. 7,500 migrants prevented from illegally entering Serbia in past 8 months

In the past several months, the authorities have prevented the illegal entry of approximately 7,500 migrants on Serbian soil. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday.

Merkel's conservatives and Schulz's centre-left draw even in survey

Voter support for the German centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) is on par with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a survey published Sunday showed.

Police arrest A-HSP party chief at rally in Zagreb

Police arrested Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) chief Drazen Keleminac for disturbing the peace at a public rally organised by the A-HSP in Zagreb on Sunday.

Kidnapped German archaeologists freed in Nigeria

Two German archaeologists who were kidnapped in northern Nigeria have been released, police said Sunday.

Turkey has built 290 kilometres of wall on border with Syria

Turkey has erected 290 kilometres of a planned 511-kilometre wall along its border with Syria, local media reported Sunday, citing the head of the building authority in charge of the project.

Syrian forces close in on city held by Turkish-backed rebels

Syrian government forces on Sunday seized a town from the Islamic State extremist militia near the northern city of al-Bab already under the control of Turkish-backed rebels, Syrian state media and monitors reported.

At least 90 Christian families escape Sinai attacks

At least 90 families reached Egypt's Ismailiya governorate, after escaping targeted killings by a local Islamic State militia in northern Sinai in recent days, an official at the Coptic Orthodox Church said Sunday.

40,000 Croats suffer from anorexia and bulimia

More than 40,000 Croatians, mostly girls and young women aged between 12 and 30, suffer from anorexia, bulimia or some other eating disorder and that number is growing each year, experts at the centre for eating disorders BEA have reported.

Iranian ex-president Ahmadinejad praises Trump

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote a personal letter to Donald Trump in which he praised the US president and wished him well in his tenure, local media reported Sunday.

Russians honour slain opposition leader Nemtsov in Moscow rally

A demonstration on the second anniversary of the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov drew thousands of people to the streets of Moscow on Sunday.