May 21, 2024

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Ethiopia ‘Dismayed’ By EU’s Restriction of Visa Provisions to Ethiopians

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Addis Abeba — The Ethiopian government said it was “dismayed by the decision of the Council of the European Union to temporarily suspend certain elements of the EU law that regulates issuing of visas to Ethiopian nationals.”

In a statement issued by Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels, the government also said the decision was “made at a time when both sides are closely working for the return of Ethiopians who have been denied legal permit to stay in the European Union member states in a dignified, orderly, and safe manner.”

On Monday this week, the EU Council decided to “to temporarily suspend certain elements of the EU law that regulates the issuing of visas to Ethiopian nationals.”

According to the decision it is no longer be possible for EU member states “to waive requirements with regard to the evidence to be submitted by Ethiopian visa applicants; to issue multiple entry visas; and to waive the visa fee for holders of diplomatic and service passports.” The standard visa-processing period is also extended from 15 to 45 calendar days.

The EU cited “lack of response from the Ethiopian authorities” on readmission of nationals who are “illegally staying in the EU.” The suspension, which the EU said was made following “an assessment by the Commission.” is temporary but there no specific as to when it will be listed.

But, Ethiopia contested the decision and said it “failed to take into consideration the painstaking process that takes place to establish the identities of nationalities.” It also “obstructs the ongoing practical steps in the implementation of the Agreement on Admission Procedures for the Return of Ethiopians from European Union Member States.”

Ethiopia said its strong cooperation with the EU has “helped in returning and reintegrating Ethiopian nationals,” and requested the EU to “reconsider its position”, while its Embassy in Brussels “will advise on measures that commensurate with the decision on admission procedures for the return of Ethiopians from European Union member states.”
By Addis Standard.

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