10:11 | Lima, Feb. 06 (ANDINA).
The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) has approved, on behalf of the Council of the European Union, an agreement on a list of non-EU countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa requirement, including Peru and Colombia.
In a statement, Coreper said Wednesday it approved a compromise reached with the European Parliament on a regulation amending Council Regulation 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement.
In order to enter into force, the draft regulation still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council.
According to the amended regulation the nationals from Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, auru, Palau, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu will be exempt from the visa requirement when travelling to the Schengen zone.
This exemption will come into force only when bilateral agreements on visa waiver between the Union and the countries concerned have been concluded in order to ensure full reciprocity.
Regarding Colombia and Peru, the amended regulation states that the Commission will further assess the situation of both countries with regard to the criteria set out in the new article before the opening of negotiations on bilateral agreements on visa waiver.
The elimination of the visa requirement for Colombians and Peruvians to visit the Schengen Area, made up of 26 European countries, was proposed last August by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The Schengen Area comprises Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Greece, along with non-members from the European Union Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.