Visa Liberalization May Take at Least 1.5 Years

    • Politics - 20 November 2017, 13:33
By bringing up the issue of visa liberalization, the European side wants to demonstrate to Armenia what the next step may be if the EU-Armenia agreement is signed on November 24, the national coordinator of the EaP Civil Platform and the head of Yerevan Press Club Boris Navasardyan told Lragir.am.

Note that the European Parliament has called on the EU Council and foreign affairs council to start a dialogue with Armenia on visa liberalization.

Negotiations with Armenia on the Deep and Comprehensive Partnership Agreement have ended, which is a successful example of combination of membership to the Eurasian Union and participation in EU neighborhood programs, the resolution states.

“First, the European Parliament is a political body and it is usually more open to deepening cooperation with neighbors than the European Commission but at any rate we see a tendency in the EU political circles to point to the opportunities that will open up if the relations with the European Union become closer. Besides, they want to convey to Armenia what the next step may be if the framework agreement is signed on November 24,” Boris Navasardyan said.

The expert says the EU partners are communicated that in the result of consistent work There may be interesting developments in bilateral relations.

According to him, the duration of the process of visa liberalization depends on how fast agreements are brought into being.

“If an intensive process goes, and Armenia has political will to carry out all the steps needed for visa facilitation, the dialogue on visa liberalization may end within a year during which the steps that Armenia must take are defined. It will take another year to prepare the agreement itself. In other words, the entire process may take at least 1.5 years but if procrastinated, it will last years,” Navasardyan said.

According to him, the Armenian authorities should be interested in accelerating the process. “However, we also see some artificial initiatives, some circles in the public who are either guided from outside or simply are unaware of the situation and resist to some steps that will be requirements to visa liberalization. In other words, it will be very important to conduct consistent awareness activities with the public to convey to our fellow citizens why those things are needed and whether it opens up opportunities for the development of the country. So far we haven’t seen such consistent efforts. However, let’s hope that both the government and the civil society will act accordingly after signing the agreement,” Boris Navasardyan says.

Boris Navasardyan also dwelt on the prospects that Armenia may have thanks to visa facilitation. If one wants to develop economic, political and other relations, free movement is necessary, he says. Without visa facilitation, the expert says, it will take more time and there will be more complications and obstacles in addressing a lot of issues.

“Therefore, if we want these problems to solve, we must follow that path. And this will only make the bilateral relations with the EU more effective,” he says.