Home Page
news 24 Oct 16

Bulgaria, Romania Still Hope Canada Lifts Visas

While a Belgian region holds up the EU’s CETA deal with Canada, Romanians and Bulgarians hope to end visa requirements with Canada regardless of the outcome.

Ana Maria Touma
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Photo: European People's Party/Flickr

As Monday’s deadline loomed for a Belgian region to decide on whether or not to support the vexed EU-Canada trade deal, Bulgaria and Romania say they believe it will not affect their chances of achieving visa-free travel to Canada.

The Belgian autonomous region of Wallonia is currently holding up the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, partly out of concerns that local products will lose their place on markets in favour of Canadian imports.

European Council President Donald Tusk was expected to inform Canada late on Monday whether the CETA signing can go ahead on Thursday.

“Given that visa-related negotiations are bilateral and not through the EU, they should be considered strictly bilateral obligations and not be affected by CETA,” said Silvia Martis-Tabusca, professor of Law at the Romanian-American University and head of the Center for Human Rights and Migration in Bucharest.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Friday said Romania would continue its bilateral negotiations with Canada on lifting visas, regardless of the outcome of talks on CETA.

Both Romania and Bulgaria in Brussels on Friday withdrew any remaining reservations about CETA, conditioned on the deal supporting the free movement of people.

“We worked all night with the European Commission and, together with the Romanian President and the Commission, received written confirmations that the visa regime with Canada will be lifted for Bulgarian citizens starting December 1, 2017,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov stated on Friday.

Romania’s Iohannis has said he foresees a package mechanism under which Canada would be entitled to temporarily re-impose visas if the number of Balkan immigrants is too high.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

24 Nov 17

Balkan Countries Downplay Worry About Radioactive Cloud

Several Balkan countries say they detected nuclear pollution in their atmosphere in September and October – but have reassured concerned citizens that it is not dangerous. 

23 Nov 17

NATO To Open Liaison Office in Moldova

23 Nov 17

Kosovo Judge Orders Opposition MPs' Arrests

Premium Selection

24 Nov 17

Moldovan History Film Angers Champions of Romanian Ties

A new movie about Moldova’s history, produced under Socialists auspices, has angered pro-EU politicians and historians by playing down links to Romania and, they say, taking Russia’s line.

21 Nov 17

Local Chiefs’ Financial Abuses Blight Montenegrin Costal Town

Investigations may be hanging over two local party leaders – but that prospect does not seem to threaten their years-long grip on power in the seaside town of Ulcinj.

20 Nov 17

Serbia’s IMF Arrangement Ends on High Note