Schengen Visa liberalisation in the Eastern Partnership countries, Russia and Turkey has proven to have a huge transformative potential across the justice, liberty and security policies of the countries where it has been deployed. Far-reaching technical reforms in the fields of document security, irregular migration and border management, public order security and fundamental rights have to be implemented so that visa-free travel can be allowed. Evidence provided by visa applications data reveals that visa liberalisation is a logical step, provided that the technical reforms are adopted and implemented. This study analyses the current state of play of the implementation of the EU visa policy instruments and assesses the positive impact of visa-free travel on trans-border mobility according to current visa application statistics.
Raül Hernández i Sagrera is Associate Research Fellow at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).