Sat. Aug 13th, 2022
Brussels, 25 July 2022
See question(s) : E-001881/2022
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
The EU and Kazakhstan have concluded an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) in December 20151, which entered into force on 1 March 2020.
Article 238(4) of that agreement provides for the possibility of negotiating an agreement on readmission and of considering possible negotiations in parallel of an agreement on visa facilitation. The possibility to start parallel negotiations on such agreements with Kazakhstan was discussed several times with Member States in the Council and bilaterally with Kazakhstan. The decision to launch negotiations for a new visa facilitation agreement needs to be taken by the Council.
The Commission is aware that Kazakhstan has partly exempted EU citizens from its visa obligation. The EU Visa Code (which entered into force in February 2020) has already been beneficial for all third country nationals including citizens of Kazakhstan. A simpler and more user-friendly visa application procedure has been put in place. With the new Visa Code provisions, regular travellers – including for tourism purposes – are granted the possibility to receive multiple entry visas with long validity (from one to five years) in a similar manner as would be prescribed by a visa facilitation agreement. In most cases, applicants will have the possibility to submit their application at a location close to their place of residence. Where available, they may also fill in and sign the application form electronically.