EU Parliament votes to End Visa-Free Travel for Americans!

Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France

 

The European Parliament, that meets in Strasbourg, France, voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.  This move is in retaliation to US’s decision to not grant visa free travel for citizens of 5 EU Countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania.

Per the article in the Independent, “The vote urges the revocation of the scheme within two months, meaning Americans will have to apply for extra documents for 12 months after the European Commission implements a “delegated act” to bring the change into effect.” While “the Commission is legally obliged to act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union has the chance to object to the delegated act”

However, I wouldn’t hold much hope: because as things currently stand, the end of visa-free travel to Europe only looks like a matter of time.  And, regardless of where your politics lie, this move will come as a huge blow if you’re an American traveller.  The US tourism industry has already taken some heavy blows thanks to the Trump Travel Ban.  The European Union tourism industry will probably take an even bigger hit since Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain are all in the top 10 countries visited by American tourists.  It will also be interesting to see how this will affect the business side of things as quite a few American companies ship their employees back and forth across the Atlantic.

All in all, this is bad for everyone involved.  2017 is off to a rocky start.  Sigh…