The European Commission recommended today visa-free travel for around 80 million Turkish citizens inside Europe’s Schengen borderless zone. The European Commission has also proposed to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to lift the visa requirements for the people of Kosovo.
Turkey has five benchmarks, out of an initial total of 72, to fulfill by the end of June, according to the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Turkey has made impressive progress, particularly in recent weeks, on meeting the benchmarks of its visa liberalisation roadmap. There is still work to be done as a matter of urgency but if Turkey sustains the progress made, they can meet the remaining benchmarks."
"There is still work to be done as a matter of urgency but if Turkey sustains the progress made, they can meet the remaining benchmarks," he added.
In order for the visa waiver to take effect from July, the commission’s recommendation must first be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states, which have relied heavily on Turkey to stem the flow of refugees seeking to enter Europe.
EU member states, including the U.K. and Ireland, are not part of the Schengen zone and are therefore exempt from the visa freedom agreement and continue to require Turkish citizens to apply for visa upon a visit.
Visa exemption will apply to the four Schengen-associated countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, according to the European Commission.