European Travel 2016: Loss Of EU Visa Waiver Could Threaten US Tourism, Business And Trade


Travelers planning to go to the Eiffel Tower or London Bridge could no longer be the only ones affected within the occasion the ecu commission were to select to cease its visa waiver software with the U.S. Trans-Atlantic business relationships had been also at stake as eu Union officials reviewed Tuesday the 15-yr-old application that has allowed americans to journey to eu international locations for so long as ninety days without a visa.

Even as any shuttering of the visa waiver software is not going to be ratified by way of european countrywide parliaments that have long diagnosed the value of U.S. tourism, a few monetary specialists said there may be a completely actual opportunity the problem should purpose political spillover within the negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic exchange and funding Partnership (TTIP), a european-U.S. settlement that has been three years within the making Sci Burg.

“There’s no question that if the eu have been to slap a visa requirement on the U.S., it would be very, very bad information for the european tourism industry,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for international Economics, a think tank based totally in Washington. “It would additionally pretty frankly send the wrong political sign inside the center of TTIP negotiations,” he stated.

The visa waiver software began in 2001, and it lets in U.S. citizens to tour to Europe for as long as ninety days on commercial enterprise or satisfaction without having to apply for a visa. In flip, the U.S. has extended the identical courtesy to residents of most ecu nations, with 5 exceptions: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. After the european commission officially mentioned the distinction in visa necessities for those international locations in 2014, the european put pressure at the U.S. to consist of those international locations inside the visa application. Mentioning safety issues, but, the U.S. has refused to increase the visa waiver application to them, leading the eu to threaten to rescind its application for U.S. residents. It is expected to make your mind up on revoking visa waivers for U.S. residents in coming months.

The U.S. nation branch did now not express problem that the visa waivers could be taken away, however. “We’ve maintained an open dialogue with eu officers — as well as officials from the ones member states that require visas for journey to the usa — on this count,” said Julia Mason, a state department representative. “It’s miles untimely to invest on an imposition of visas on U.S. citizens.”

After terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris inside the past 12 months that have been finished by ecu nationals, the U.S. also restricted its visa waiver program to exclude Europeans who had traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.


The visa waiver software for U.S. citizens touring Europe has facilitated both commercial enterprise and leisure travel inside the years because it become carried out in 2001. Millions of U.S. vacationers go to european countries every 12 months, and the number of tourists to Europe started out skyrocketing in 2014 as the dollar have become stronger towards the euro. The growth is about to continue, with U.S. travel to the eu slated to boom through 5.3 percentage in the 2014-2019 length, in keeping with the eu journey commission.

With U.S.-based totally multinational businesses which include Coca-Cola and DuPont annually booking billions of greenbacks in eu sales, it is also less complicated for executives to conduct business across the Atlantic with the useful resource of the visa waiver application. At the least 10 percent of all U.S. journey to Europe in 2014 become for the reason of enterprise, and visa requirements ought to probably ratchet that down.
EU flag
Multinational companies could likely discover a way round visa regulations, possibly with multi-entry visas. If visa waivers had been removed, however, executives may to begin with be much less capable of hop on an aircraft from new york to Paris at a second’s notice. “On the margin, of direction, there might be commercial enterprise trips that had been not made, investments that have been now not pitched,” stated the Peterson Institute’s Kirkegaard.

ecu Union flags flutter in the wind out of doors the eu commission constructing in

If the ecu commission comes to a decision to remove the visa waiver program, the flow’s effect will be restrained by the fact the european Parliament and person eu governments can veto it, and they probably would, in keeping with Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of the eu middle for global Political economic system, a think tank based totally in Brussels.

“Their tourism sales, the commercial enterprise mobility, it’s now not a joking count for France, Spain, or the U.ok.,” Lee-Makiyama said Tuesday. “Cohesion with the U.S. is possibly more potent than team spirit with the eu.”

Regardless of the final results of the visa waiver discussions, it’d not have an effect on parallel negotiations on TTIP, consistent with Lee-Makiyama. “Negotiations have a tendency to be rather compartmentalized affairs,” he said.

The proposed exchange settlement might in component facilitate the mobility of eu organizations that want to go to the U.S., while also increasing export agreements. TTIP has been at the desk on the grounds that 2013, and its proponents have increasingly driven for its adoption before elections in the U.S., Germany and France change any of the key leaders worried in its improvement.

“In case you actually need this, it desires to be completed throughout this [U.S.] presidency,” John Emerson, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, told Politico.

human beings chat in the front of a sign selling the proposed TTIP free change settlement between the european and the U.S. in Berlin July 10, 2015.

Regardless of current stress over differences in how best to manipulate borders and fight the developing chance of terrorism worldwide, the eu and the U.S. retain to revel in close diplomatic and financial relationships, and most of the people of eu member states would not sacrifice those relationships with the U.S. for the sake of the 5 eu countries treated one of a kind from the rest in visa subjects, professionals stated.

“It’ll come all the way down to the unity among the european member states,” stated Lee-Makiyama of the eu center for worldwide Political economy. “They were very company in the wording, however no longer necessarily taking retaliatory measures when it comes down to it.”