The European Parliament has again asked the Commission to temporarily impose visas on citizens of the United States over its failure to observe the visa reciprocity principle.
MEPs voted in a resolution to that effect on Thursday, with 376 votes in favour, 269 against and 43 abstentions. They asked the Commission to suspend the visa waiver for US citizens for 12 months as provided for by the visa reciprocity mechanism.
The visa reciprocity mechanism provides that if a third country does not lift visa requirements within 24 months of being formally notified of a situation of non-reciprocity, the EU Commission must adopt a legal act suspending the visa waiver for its nationals for 12 months.
Citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania still need a visa to enter the US.
The European Parliament adopted a similar resolution in 2017, but the Commission is reluctant to take this step and is trying to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels.
In the meantime, Croatia has fulfilled one of the key conditions for entry into the US visa waiver programme. It has been officially confirmed recently that the number of refused Croatian applications for a US visa has dropped below three percent.
Croatia might be granted a visa free regime with the US next year after the remaining technical conditions have been dealt with.