Brunei urged to commit to EU visa waiver agreement
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE European Commission expects Brunei to grant visa-free travel to Croatian nationals in the coming weeks after the sultanate was called out for not waiving visa requirement to all member states of the European Union (EU).
In a report released on Tuesday, Brunei along with Canada and the United States were flagged over their lack of visa reciprocity with the politico-economic union.
Nationals from the three countries can travel to the Schengen area without a visa, but still require visas from some EU citizens two years after the visa reciprocity mechanism was introduced. As of the April 12 deadline imposed by the EU, Croatian nationals need visas to enter the sultanate.
Meanwhile, Canada requires visas for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania. The US also requires visas for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
The European Commission said Brunei has yet to lift the visa requirement for Croatian nationals despite its decision to do so in 2015.
However, the commission later “received positive signals in these contacts” with the Brunei Mission to the EU recently informing that the visa waiver will be put in practice in a “few weeks’ time”.
The report further stated the European Commission, based on recent contacts, expects the situation with the sultanate to be resolved soon as full waiver reciprocity is likely to be achieved with the official notification by the end of April.
If the respective countries do not achieve full visa reciprocity, the European Parliament and Council may consider whether or not to suspend the visa waiver by July 12.
The Brunei Times