EU to weigh visa measures against Canada, U.S., Brunei

There is still more work to be done before the visa dispute between Canada and the European Union can be resolved, Immigration Minister John McCallum said Tuesday.

OTTAWA — There is still more work to be done before the visa dispute between Canada and the European Union can be resolved, Immigration Minister John McCallum said Tuesday.

“We have not offered full visa lift but we have offered something called Canada plus, which is easier access for regular travellers,” McCallum said.

European Union nations and lawmakers have been told to begin urgent talks on how to respond to the failure of Canada, the U.S. and Brunei to extend visa-free travel to citizens of all of the union’s 28 member states.

The European Commission invited them Tuesday “to urgently launch discussions and to take a position on the most appropriate way forward” within three months.

The talks could lead to visa requirements being imposed on travellers from the three countries.

In Canada’s case, that is because it demands visas for travellers from Romania and Bulgaria.

The U.S. requires visas for travellers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

Top EU interior affairs official Dimitris Avramopoulos pledged to continue visa talks with Canada, the U.S. and Brunei.

“Full visa reciprocity will stay high on the agenda of our bilateral relations with these countries and we will continue pursuing a balanced and fair outcome,” said Avramopoulos.

McCallum said the EU’s demand for full visa reciprocity is something that has to be negotiated.

“There are various processes that are complex within the European Union,” he said.

“I don’t know for sure how close we are on that,” he added. “At the end of the day, we’ll find a resolution, but we are not there yet.”

Because of various EU rules, it could be several months before a visa requirement would go into effect. But the political fallout from the ongoing dispute is surfacing in a year when Canada and the EU hope to finally ratify their landmark free-trade deal.

McCallum said he’s not concerned how the dispute might affect the trade agreement, saying that is a separate issue.

The U.S. and the EU have also embarked on their own free-trade negotiations.

The European Parliament and commission will have four months to block the visa move if a majority vote in either of those bodies fails to uphold it.

The issue has not crept up on Canada because the required two-year notice of the non-reciprocity action was published in EU journals on April 12, 2014.

McCallum said Canadian officials are heavily engaged in talks with Romania, Bulgaria and the European Commission.

Just Posted

Air Canada reviewing how crew left passenger on parked plane

Air Canada said Sunday it’s looking into how crew members could have… Continue reading

New technology helps search teams find people in wilderness

HONOLULU — Yesenia D’Alessandro loaded a GPS tracking app on her cellphone… Continue reading

Senior Facebook executive says it would favour regulation

LONDON — A senior Facebook executive says the social media site is… Continue reading

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to return after more than six months in space

LONGUEUIL, Que. — David Saint-Jacques is set to return to Earth on… Continue reading

Ham radio operators in central Alberta tune in

Amateur radio enthusiasts in central Alberta tuned in for the weekend. Central… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Cavallini, David scores 3 goals, Canada defeats Cuba 7-0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach John Herdman couldn’t be happier about the state… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse lands same job with Canada’s men’s team

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is the new coach of Canada’s… Continue reading

Steamy romance novelist Judith Krantz dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Writer Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as “Scruples”… Continue reading

Flying Wallendas safely cross Times Square on high wire

NEW YORK — Two siblings from the famed Flying Wallendas safely crossed… Continue reading

UK: Police visit incident dogs Johnson’s leadership campaign

LONDON — The leading contender to become Britain’s next prime minister is… Continue reading

Trump: ‘Surprise’ question about Pence led him to hesitate

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he hesitated when asked about endorsing… Continue reading

Indigenous drummers lead pipeline protesters on 22-kilometre march in Victoria

VICTORIA — The government approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion won’t stop… Continue reading

Retired UBC professor Peter Winterburn killed in Chile, school confirms

VALPARAISO, Chile — A retired geochemistry professor from the University of British… Continue reading

Most Read