The European Parliament's decision to allow Peruvian citizens to travel freely to countries in the Schengen Area is "a good result" that benefits both sides, a senior official from the European Union (EU) has said.
"This will open up opportunities and advantages also for EU citizens, as any existing visa requirement for EU citizens to travel to these countries will be eliminated," said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
"The solution found to include Peru and Colombia on the visa-free list is a good result," said Malmstrom, "It strikes the right balance between the desire to offer visa-free travel to Peruvian and Colombian nationals and the need to avoid migratory risks and safeguard the security of the EU."
Malmstrom said the Commission is committed to prepare the necessary additional assessment for Peru and Colombia as soon as possible.
In November 2012, the European Commission proposed adding five Caribbean Island Nations (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago), 10 Pacific Island Nations (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) and Timor-Leste to the list of third countries and territories whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation.
After discussions with the European Parliament and the Council, in December, Peru, Colombia and the United Arab Emirates were added to the original list, which was the step to acquiring Schengen visa-free status.
The Schengen Area consists of 26 states, including 22 of the 28 EU member countries.
They are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Sweden.