September 29, 2011 - 10:11 AMT
EU to prepare roadmap to abolish visa requirements for Turks

An official from European Union Commission has said the EU will prepare a roadmap to completely abolish visa requirements for Turkish nationals, Today’s Zaman reported.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malsmtröm said in a meeting in Strasbourg on Wednesday that before lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens, the EU will enforce a new program on visa facilitation.

Malmström said the EU has recently laid down a new perspective in lifting visa requirements and that it will no longer consider the readmission agreement as an indispensible condition for a possible visa deal.

“We are at the beginning of a journey. It will take time. But we will start facilitating visa requirements at this time,” Malsmtröm said during the meeting, where Turkey’s EU minister also participated.

Malmström said a new program in facilitating visa requirements for Turkish nationals will kick off in autumn. According to the new initiative, the EU will issue long-term visas, they will be multi-entry, time of acquiring visas will reduce, required documents for visas will be minimum and long-term or permanent visas will be issued for people in certain category.