Today, the European Union and Azerbaijan signed an agreement to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas.
"I am very pleased that the visa facilitation agreement has been signed. It will allow citizens from Azerbaijan to travel more easily to the Schengen area, as well as for EU citizens to travel to Azerbaijan. This is a very tangible result of the Eastern Partnership and will further promote interaction between citizens of the EU and Azerbaijan", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The EU-Azerbaijan Visa Facilitation Agreement was signed in Vilnius on the occasion of the third Eastern Partnership Summit by Commissioner Štefan Füle responsible for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy who welcomed it: "I am delighted we signed this agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. This is a significant milestones in the EU's cooperation with Azerbaijan, one that will bring tangible benefits for Azerbaijani citizens". […]
The EU and the Republic of Azerbaijan signed today a visa facilitation agreement (15554/13) at a ceremony that took place in Vilnius, in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit. On behalf of the EU, the agreement was signed by Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in his capacity as President of the Council of the European Union, and by Štefan Füle, Commissioner with responsibility for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. For Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the agreement.
The agreement will now be sent to the European Parliament with a view to obtaining its consent before it can be concluded. It will enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the two parties notify each other that the internal procedures have been completed, or at the date of the entry into force of the EU-Azerbaijan readmission agreement if that date is later. The two agreements shall enter into force together. […]
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) supports efforts made by the European Union to remain a magnet for foreign talent and welcomes the initiative to improve and simplify rules to encourage highly qualified migrants to move to the Union. Through an opinion prepared by Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos (EL/EPP), Municipal Councillor of Aigaleo and Secretary of the decentralised administration of Attika, the CoR warns however that attracting talented migrants must not be limited to facilitating the conditions of their entry and residence, but should also promote measures to support their integration within local communities.
Today's Europe is confronted with the challenge of an ageing population which, accentuated by the crisis, is leading to a shortage of skilled human resources in a number of sectors including science and technology. This situation adversely affects Europe's competitiveness, creativity and capacity for innovation. Against this backdrop, in an opinion adopted today the CoR welcomes the European Commission's initiative to provide clearer and more consistent rules for non-EU nationals coming to the EU for studies, scientific research and other exchanges. […]
The Commission proposed today to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. This proposal builds on the successful implementation by the Republic of Moldova of all the benchmarks set in its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.
"I am very pleased to propose to abolish visa requirements for Moldovan citizens holding a biometric passport. I wish to congratulate the Moldovan authorities for their efforts to implement key reforms and the important achievements they have made. The possibility to travel to the EU without a visa will further facilitate people-to-people contacts and strengthen business, social and cultural ties between the European Union and Moldova. It is my sincere hope that other Eastern partners seeking visa-free travel to the EU will continue to work towards achieving this important goal", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. […]
On 26 November, the European Integration Forum –the dialogue platform on integration of immigrants launched in April 2009 by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee– adopted a statement on Participation of migrants in the democratic process. The civil society representatives meeting at this Forum ask that: 1)access to residence status should not be hampered by imposing extra conditions not provided for under the EU long-term residence directive; 2) the European Commission launch infringement proceedings against Member States that arbitrarily impose extra conditions not provided for under the EU long-term residence directive; 3) migrants should be eligible for citizenship after no more than five years of legal residence; 4) children born in a country should be eligible at birth to become citizens of that country if one of their parents has resided there legally for five years; 5) the right to vote and to stand in local, regional, national and European elections should be granted to all legal residents after a maximum of five years' legal residence; 6) the right to set up or join political associations and parties should be an inviolable right of all residents. […]