The European Commission is examining how the implementation and development of the Common Visa Policy could help facilitate economic growth in the European Union.
The visa policy is designed to simplify travel for citizens from third country nations eager to visit member states, and to ensure that the EU remains an attractive destination for tourists and third country nationals alike. This policy is expected to boost the EU’s economic activity and create more jobs.
Tourism has become a stimulus for economic growth and development and is among the foremost generators of jobs in the EU – 18.1 million jobs were created last year, while visitor spend reached €330.44 billion.
Recent estimates indicate that these figures are likely to increase to 20.4 billion jobs and €427.1 billion by 2022.
Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said that the EU should strive to increase tourist flows to Europe while continuing to ensure the security of its borders. She emphasised that facilitating opportunities to visit Europe for legitimate travellers who do not pose a security risk can only reinforce the EU’s position as the world’s number one tourist destination.
It is expected that the proposed policy will bring about a positive impact on the economy through increased spending in the hospitality, transport, retail, entertainment and food and beverage industry of EU states.
The Commission has mandated travel be simplified through the correct implementation of the Visa Code by member states’ consulates.
Member states’ consulates will be expected to enforce the 15-day deadline to grant appointments, decide on visa applications, facilitate the availability of application forms in the languages of host countries, and assess the possibility of issuing multiple entry visas.
Other long-term initiatives proposed by the Commission include the simplification of application forms and any supporting documents.
Further information is available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/index_en.htm.
This information is supplied by Impetus Europe Consulting Group Ltd.
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