|Author (Corporate)||Council of the European Union|
|Series Title||Official Journal of the European Union|
|Series Details||L 69, Pages 105-106|
|Content Type||News, Policy-making|
Decision (EU) 2022/366 - adopted by the Council of the European Union on 3 March 2022 - partially suspending the application of the Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver, also known as the Visa Waiver Agreement.
A visa waiver agreement between the EU and Vanuatu has applied since 2015 and has allowed citizens of Vanuatu to travel to the EU without a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-period. Before 2015, Vanuatu ran only one investor citizenship scheme, under which a limited number of passports were issued. However, since 2015, Vanuatu established additional investor citizenship schemes and the number of successful applicants increased significantly.
In 2017, the European Commission started investigating the Vanuatu schemes, since these raised serious doubts, in particular on account of their security failures. In 2018, the Commission received assurances from the Government of Vanuatu regarding the security screening procedures. Yet, it came to the Commission's attention in July 2019 that applicants had been granted citizenship under Vanuatu's investor citizenship schemes despite being listed in Interpol's databases and that some applicants had presented forged documents that the authorities of Vanuatu failed to detect.
The deficiencies concerning Vanuatu's investor citizenship schemes were repeatedly raised during bilateral meetings of the Enhanced Political Dialogue, with the EU referring to the potential impact on the Visa Waiver Agreement. Following an assessment that the investor schemes in place in Vanuatu go against the objectives of the EU visa policy, the European Commission tabled a proposal on 12 January 2022 for a Council Decision partially suspending the application of the Agreement. The Decision was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 3 March 2022. It was published in the Official Journal on 4 March 2022.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|
|Subject Tags||Bilateral Relations, Visas|
|Countries / Regions||Vanuatu|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|