AA / Brussels / Omar Tughrul Cam
On Tuesday, the European Commission criticized the Schengen area’s member states for excessive delays in visa-issuance procedures.
“The steady increase in global travel has led to a sharp increase in Schengen visa applications, which, according to estimates conducted in 2022, has led to a significant slowdown in the processing of appointments and visa applications”, says the 2023 report on the situation in the Schengen area.
Member States “frequently provide insufficient and incorrect information regarding the visa application process, which has an impact on the assessment of migration and security risks.”
The European Commission also said that in some cases, applicants paid up to 500 euros ($552) “to obtain an appointment with agencies or individuals”.
“The consequences of these shortcomings are many, ranging from damage to the reputation of the Member States and the European Union, not to mention economic damage, especially in the tourism sector, destabilization of family relations and disruption of business relations. “.
The report recommends “appointment of adequate and appropriate staff at embassies to carry out the work related to examination of applications to ensure quality of service to the public”.
It clarifies that these states can use EU funding under their national programs under the “Border and Visa Management Instrument (BMVI) 2021-2027, Integrated Border Management Fund (“IBMF”) with an envelope of 88 million euros ($95.6 million). )
The European Commission added that “issuing multiple entry visas with longer periods of validity would improve efficiency”.
Turkish officials said last year that many citizens seeking visas to travel to EU member states faced months of delays as most of the Covid-era restrictions ended. Get a visa.
The Schengen area brings together almost all EU member states that have abolished visa restrictions within their common borders.
*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj
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