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EU proposes visa-free travel for Turkish citizens


05-05-2016 10:48 BJT

The European Commission has submitted a proposal to lift EU visa requirements for Turkish citizens to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union.

European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said that Turkey has made "impressive progress, particularly in recent weeks, on meeting the benchmarks of its visa liberalization roadmap.

He said, "we are now in the position to put forward a proposal which opens the way for the European parliament and member states to decide to lift visa requirements once the benchmarks have been met. There is no free ride here. And we are clear what remains to be done. There are five remaining benchmarks we expect Turkey to meet by the end of June."

Timmermans stressed that Turkey also needs to update its passports to meet the latest biometric standards by the end of the year. The European Union launched the visa liberalization dialogue with Turkey in December 2013.

The plan would allow Turkish citizens to travel in the Schengen area without a visa for short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period for business, tourism, or family purposes.

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