Peru, Colombia reach Schengen visa waiver pact
WILLEMSTAD - The European Union (EU) has reached a Schengen visa waiver agreement with Peru and Colombia, thus allowing these countries' citizens visa-free travel to any of all the 26 Schengen states, it was reported this week.
According to a statement released by a EU delegation in Colombia, the date in which the bilateral visa waiver agreement is set to enter into force is still being worked through.
The statement states that "legislative and administrative procedures must be worked out before the starting of the initiative."
Maria Antonia Van Gool, EU's Ambassador to neighboring Colombia, hailed Monday's decision as a proof of the European Union's political will to lift visa requirements for Colombians and Peruvians.
"It [the measure] reflects the mutual confidence and willingness to further develop our working relationship," the diplomat noted.
The Peruvian Deputy Foreign Minister, Fernando Rojas, said the European Parliament is expected to approve the visa waiver by late February.
This measure allows Peruvian and Colombian citizens to be able to enjoy visa-exemption privileges in the EU by travelling freely throughout the 26 Schengen states for short stays of up to 90 days.
The Schengen area is made up of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Monaco, Germany, Greece and Hungary.
Likewise Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are part of this bloc.