EU to Use ‘Emergency Brake’ on Visa-Free Deals for Ukraine, Georgia

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the photo bankFlags of Ukraine and the European Union in Kiev
Flags of Ukraine and the European Union in Kiev - Sputnik International
EU member states intend to extend an emergency brake mechanism making it easier to freeze visa-free travel deals with third countries like Ukraine and Georgia, a diplomatic source in Brussels said Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) On May 20, EU interior ministers approved European Commission's proposal to make changes in the emergency brake mechanism on visa-free travel with third countries amid a possibility of fast growth of illegal migration. The measure was taken amid EU-Turkey visa free regime talks.

"EU states do not intend to protect Ukraine and Georgia from the action of the visa waiver temporary suspension mechanism," the source told RIA Novosti.

According to the source, "such an intention may considerably slow down the process of granting a visa-free regime for Ukraine and Georgia."

The new mechanism sets out possible grounds for suspending free-travel agreements with non-EU members, such as an increased transit of third-country nationals through countries that the EU has agreements with.

In December 2015, the European Commission gave a positive assessment of Ukraine and Georgia successfully meeting all benchmark requirements necessary for the liberalization of the visa regime with the bloc. In spring, the Commission made a proposal to the European Council and the European Parliament to add Ukraine and Georgia to the list of countries the citizens of which could travel to the Schengen Area without visas.

However, no decisions on these issues have been approved by either of the EU bodies so far.

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