Today, the European Union and Armenia signed an agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation. A visa facilitation agreement with Armenia, opening the way for easier travel and people-to-people contact across Europe, was already signed on 17 December 2012.
“The signature of a readmission agreement is a concrete step forward in EU-Armenia relations.” said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.”
The visa facilitation and readmission agreements are very tangible results of the Eastern Partnership and will promote interaction between citizens of the EU and Armenia and strengthen our cooperation in the fight against irregular immigration. I am very pleased that both agreements have now been signed – this means that Armenians will be able to travel more easily while facilitating the effective management of irregular migration.”
- The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Armenia was signed on 17 December 2012. It makes it easier and cheaper for citizens of Armenia, in particular those who travel most, to acquire short-stay visas allowing them to travel throughout the EU.
- The readmission agreement sets out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of both Armenia and the respective EU Member State as to when and how to take back people who are irregularly residing on their territories. A special accelerated procedure will apply to persons apprehended in common border regions who can be returned more quickly.
- The European Parliament now needs to give its consent before both Agreements can be concluded.
So far, the EU has signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements with ten countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia. Yesterday, on 18 April, the EU signed a readmission agreement with Cape Verde, which is also coupled with an agreement on visa facilitation.
Negotiations are furthermore ongoing with Azerbaijan, and negotiating mandates are in place for Belarus.