by Loren G. Edelstein | April 13, 2016
The European Commission on Tuesday entered into discussions about whether to suspend visa-waiver privileges for visitors from the United States and Canada due to non-reciprocity with a handful of member countries of the European Union, according to Travel Weekly.
In April 2014, the Commission was alerted to non-reciprocity status with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Japan and the U.S. The non-reciprocity situation with Australia and Japan was resolved, meaning both countries now offer visa-free travel for all EU nationals. But Canada still has a visa requirement for the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, and the U.S. still requires visas for the citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. Brunei still has a visa requirement for the citizens of Croatia and is part of the suspension talks as well.

Requiring U.S. and Canadian citizens to get visas would have a devastating economic impact on the travel industry, with leisure travel alone dropping roughly 30 percent, according to an estimate by the European Tour Operators Association. The visa-reciprocity regulations require that the Commission take into account the political, administrative and economic consequences of the suspension of the visa-waiver policy. Based on those, the proposal is unlikely to come to fruition, according to the ETOA.

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