EU mulls ‘snapback’ on Turkish visas
The EU could set up an emergency brake on visa-free travel from countries such as Turkey, which is set to win the right as part of its migrant deal with Brussels, under a plan by Germany and France seen by AFP Thursday.
Turkey has demanded its citizens be allowed to enter the European Union’s passport free Schengen zone without visas by June, in exchange for it taking back migrants from Europe.
The European Commission is due to to decide on May 4 whether Turkey has met the conditions but there are still widespread concerns among many of the EU’s 28 member states.
Turkey has threatened to pull out of the migrant deal if it does not get the visa scheme.
Under a proposal by France and Germany, there should be a mechanism for suspending visa-free travel for “third country nationals” — such as Turkey but also other nations benefitting from similar deals with the EU .
“We therefore suggest to develop what is referred to as a snap-back mechanism which would, in a transparent procedure, suspend visa-free travel for nationals of third countries which are exempted from the visa requirement but no longer meet specific criteria,” said the plan.
Those would include large numbers of people from one of the external countries staying in an EU state unlawfully, or a large rise in asylum applications from nationals of a particular country that does not normally qualify.