”The visa requirement effectively prevents many young Europeans from travelling. This policy creates an isolated generation of young people who can only rarely visit countries from the Schengen zone, and yet, ironically, are supposed to bring about changes in their own societies and prepare them for joining the EU”, stresses Philippe Adriaenssens, President of JEF-Europe.
Since 19 December 2009, only people from Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia can finally move freely across European borders but still too many other young Europeans are stuck behind these unnatural barriers.
Adriaenssens explains:“As a pan-European NGO organising international events with participants from the entire continent, we are permanently confronted with young people who have to worry about the costs and the outcome of the visa application procedure. How are these young people then supposed to experience Europe and promote European values at home?”
The liberalisation of visa is essential to enhance regional stability and integration and foster economic and social prosperity.
The liberalisation of visa is essential to enhance regional stability and integration and foster economic and social prosperity because it will contribute to better cooperation between administrations and police services on the one hand and improve the business climate and educational exchanges on the other.
"While the governments of the countries in question need to do their utmost to fulfill the necessary technical criteria, it is on the EU institutions to assist them in meeting these criteria and meanwhile lessen the costs and administrative burden of the visa application procedure“ adds Adriaenssens.
Consequently, JEF will continue campaigning to show its support for the remaining countries subject to the Schengen visa requirements until also their Citizens have obtained the right to uncomplicated, visa-free travel in Europe. JEF will also make sure that the EU does not forget about the young Europeans in other countries who still remain behind the visa curtain.
JEF will organise its annual No-Visa Action this week to raise awareness about the obstacles that visas bring about and calls for the unification of the European continent through the abolishment of national borders for all Europeans.