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Italian minister Amato defends visa free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 24 May 2011 Tue 05:33 pm

Italian minister Amato defends visa free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens

İTALYAN BAKAN AMATO ,TÜRK VATANDAŞLARININ AVRUPA´DA VİZESİZ SEYAHAT ETMESİ GEREKTİĞİNİ SAVUNDU

23 May 2011, Monday / YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, İSTANBUL

        Former Italian Prime Minister and Interior MinisterGiuliano Amato

Former Italian Prime Minister and Interior Minister Giuliano Amato has said that Turkey should be treated fairly and given a roadmap by the European Union toward visa-free travel to Europe.
 

It is unfair that I come here freely but you can´t,” he said on Monday addressing a small group of people from civil society organizations invited by the European Stability Initiative (ESI), which helped five Western Balkan countries obtain visa-free travel with the EU.

ESI Chairman Gerald Knaus reminded the group that the Schengen White List Project was based on the visa liberalization process that the EU started in 2008 requiring the Balkan countries to implement reforms in various areas, including border control, passport security, the fight against illegal migration and organized crime.

Among all the candidate and potential candidate countries, Turkey remains the only country without an official EU roadmap toward visa-free travel. Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins have been traveling to the EU without visas since late 2009 even though their countries have not begun accession negotiations.

Turkey has fulfilled a lot of the requirements raised by Brussels and achieved an EU-Turkey readmission agreement, but five years into the accession talks, it has not been given a “visa roadmap” outlining internal security reforms.

Under the readmission agreement, Turkey will be obliged to take back Turkish nationals found to be residing illegally in an EU state, as well as third-country nationals and stateless persons found to have entered the EU via Turkey,” and ESI report noted.

The readmission agreements between the EU and Balkan countries were used by the former as incentives for a visa-free agreement. Turkey raised concerns about being treated as part of the same group of countries even though it had a long lasting relationship with the EU on top of being a candidate country.

Turkey negotiated extremely constructively and readmission agreement was achieved,” Knaus said. “The EU must offer Turkey a roadmap for lifting visa restrictions as soon as the readmission agreement is signed.”

However, because of reservations from some skeptical European states, especially France and Austria, a dialogue on a desired level with Turkey on visa liberalization has not been started.

Turkey as a result responded by saying if you don´t give the mandate, we will not sign the readmission agreement,” Knaus said. “Turkey is right; the problem is how to get out of it.”

Sharing his experience, Amato discussed several aspects of EU´s visa liberalization process with representatives from academia, think-tanks, media groups and the business community. He stressed the need to overcome the trap of resentment on both sides.

Knaus said ESI, with the help of Amato and other members on the Turkey White List Project board, will advocate for a visa roadmap to be given to Turkey like they did for the five Balkan countries, and the Turkish Interior Ministry should also actively lobby in the European capitals to achieve it.

Note : I agree with the minister

 

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