03 Oct 2011

The Canada-Czech Republic Visa Dispute two years on

Sergio Carrera / Elspeth Guild / Massimo Merlino

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This paper critically examines the policy implications of the ongoing Canada-Czech Republic visa dispute for the founding principles of the EU’s immigration and asylum policies, notably those of reciprocity and solidarity. It addresses the main challenges posed by the unilateral reintroduction of visa requirements for nationals of the Czech Republic for the EU’s common visa policy, and for the fundamental rights of European citizens who belong to vulnerable and excluded groups, i.e. Roma, in search of international protection. The new Commission proposal on a visa safeguard clause for suspending visa liberalisation is also critically examined in this context. It concludes with a set of policy recommendations for improving EU-Canada cooperation in the fields of migration and asylum that aim to facilitate the legitimacy, solidarity and fundamental rights compliance of current and future cooperation frameworks.

This Liberty & Security Working Paper concludes a project on Migration and Asylum in Europe and EU-Canada Relations, along with the Working Paper on The ‘Next Generation’ Visa, published simultaneously.

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of Section at the Justice and Home Affairs section at the Centre for European Policy Studies. Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow and Massimo Merlino is a former Researcher at JHA, CEPS.