Bezviz for Ukraine: between zradoyu and Peremoga

The European Parliament voted for granting Ukraine visa-free regime with the EU. For the approval of the draft legislative resolution on the introduction of Ukraine in the list of countries for whose citizens repealed the visa requirements voted 521 MEP. What to expect from the Ukrainians acquisition of new rights, what they need to be ready, says analyst International centre for policy studies (ICPS), Iryna Ivashko.

The European Parliament voted for granting bezveza Ukrainians. But it is worth noting that this does not mean that tomorrow we will be able to travel without visas. We still have to go through the formal procedural stages in order for visa-free regime earned in practice. Another is to vote in the Committee of permanent representatives of the EU (COREPER), during which the voice of the ambassadors of the EU countries. It is scheduled for April 26. Then this solution suggest to support the EU Council of Ministers, it accords such decisions by a qualified majority. Now, of course, many people manipulate that today’s decision of the European Parliament — not the end, and the process can still block at the stage of approval by the EU Council. But in fact it is not. This is a formal decision, where should encounter no obstacles. After support by the EU Council the decision shall be signed by the Chairman of the European Parliament and the presidency of the EU. Then the publication of this decision in the official journal of the European Union, after it it is necessary to count 21 days. From the moment the decision enters into force. If I count that, really, at the end of June, we expect that the Ukrainians will be able to exercise the right to cross the Schengen borders without visas.

What are the rules, the Ukrainians have to remember in connection with the new law? Visa-free regime for holders of valid biometric passports. If the passport is old, you still have to apply for a visa. If a person has an old passport but have a valid visa, he has the right to continue to use this visa. It is also worth noting that visa-free regime does not give the right to work in the EU is only a stay of 90 days per period of 180 days. Ukrainian can several times to cross the border of Schengen during the 90-day period. Do not think that someone will give you the opportunity to leave the EU and stay there. Also, I want to cross the border of Schengen must justify the purpose and conditions of intended stay. At the border may ask how this is happening, show hotel reservations, return ticket, perhaps an invitation. You also need to have sufficient funds for your stay. Officially stated in the rules that needs to be cash or credit card. The cards can check the balance. Of course, wishing to cross the Schengen borders should not be in the list of those who are searching for or potentially threaten internal security and so on.

Of course, the procedure checks still need to improve. Here we can recall about our congested border crossing points with Poland. If there is now such a queue, you can imagine what they will be after the introduction of bizwise. If to speak about possible problems at the border of the Schengen area for “beginners”, we can recall the practices of other countries. Before us is a visa-free regime got Georgia and Moldova. The latter is already in the practice of trying out new rules: at first the people were forgotten at the border show tickets or reservations, so they could deploy. But it must be emphasized that still in Moldova, this step went very smoothly. In addition, many of its citizens have Romanian passports, and therefore have long traveled in the EU. The EU had enormous negative consequences. And so we will. Yes, we read a lot of negative reviews on Facebook about what someone had deployed on the border. And such cases are. Ukraine Moldova and Georgia, and we have such cases, accordingly, could be more.

If to speak about political aspect of the question, bezviz as a long-awaited victory was to be two years ago. After the Euromaidan, we had a real chance to get a visa-free regime because it was a very high political will in the EU, but, unfortunately, we had a very low willingness to implement the action Plan of visa liberalization (VLAP). It would be the vindication of our the Maidan dreams of integration aspirations. And now actually it will not be for ordinary Ukrainians something special. Yes, for people it will be noticeable. But ordinary Ukrainians have to pay for heating. With the tremendous set of challenges that currently exist in Ukraine, obtaining bezveza unlikely at least in my top ten for Ukrainians issues. But political leaders this question, of course, will be used for election campaigns, and they will call it a colossal victory. They can usurp for Ukraine visa-free regime.