Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

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Publication Date 12/07/2019
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Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 reforming certain aspects of the Visa Code, which regulates procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for entry into and transit through the Schengen area.

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The EU common visa code (the Visa Code) was adopted in 2009 by means of Regulation 810/2009. It establishes the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for entry into and transit through the Schengen area, valid for up to three months.

This revision of the Visa Code, in particular, aims at overcoming divisions triggered by the visa package submitted by the Commission in 2014. The updates address the visa procedures to better respond to the changed migratory and security situation, featuring a joined up approach between visa policy and readmission cooperation. It also focuses on a number of deficiencies in the existing rules to make it easier for legitimate travellers to obtain a visa to travel to the European Union.

The new Regulation also carries over some aspects of the withdrawn proposal on recasting the Visa Code. These include provisions giving more flexibility for applicants to apply for a visa and better organisation of the work of consulates.

The proposal was adopted by the European Commission on 14 March 2018 together with a Communication addressing the way forward for the common visa policy and future initiatives. Following the adoption of negotiating positions by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament in June and December 2018 respectively, an informal agreement between the institutions was reached on 29 January 2019. The Parliament formally adopted the proposed Regulation on 17 April, followed by the Council on 6 June.

These revised rules became effective on 2 February 2020.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, April 2018: Revision of the visa code [Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment]
EU Migration Law Blog, 05/09/2018: Of Carrots and Sticks: A Punitive Shift in the Reform of the Visa Code
EPRS: At a Glance, April 2019: Revision of the Visa Code
EPRS: Briefing, April 2019: Revision of the Community Code on Visas [EU Legislation in Progress]
EU Law Analysis, 17/04/2019: The revised EU visa code: controlling EU borders from a distance
EU Migration Law Blog, 10/05/2019: Amending the Visa Code: Collective Punishment of Visa Nationals?

Deutsche Welle, 14/03/2018: EU proposes visa restrictions on countries refusing to take back illegal migrants
The Sofia Globe, 14/03/2018: Proposed new EU visa policy: Easier for tourists, tougher for countries that do not take back migrants
ANSA, 06/06/2019: EU to use visa policy as leverage for repatriations
Deutsche Welle, 06/06/2019: EU restricts visas for non-cooperation on migration
Hürriyet Daily News, 06/06/2019: EU increases Schengen visa fee to €80

EUR-Lex: COM(2018)252: Proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)77: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)78: Executive summary of the impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure file for Proposal on Community code on visas (Visa Code): conditions and procedures for issuing visas
European Parliament: Legislative Train: Revision of the common visa code
European Commission: Press Release, 14/03/2018: EU visa policy: Commission puts forward proposals to make it stronger, more efficient and more secure
European Commission: Memo, 14/03/2018: Questions and Answers: Adapting the common EU visa policy to new challenges
European Commission: Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos on the reform of the EU visa policy, 14 March 2018
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 19/06/2018: Council agrees negotiating mandate on the amendment of the visa code
European Parliament: Press Release, 29/01/2019: New rules for short-stay visas: EP and Council reach a deal
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 20/02/2019: Visa policy: Council confirms agreement on changes to the visa code
European Commission: Press Release, 20/02/2019: EU visa policy: Commission welcomes agreement to strengthen EU visa rules
European Parliament: Press Release, 17/04/2019: Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 06/06/2019: Visa policy: EU updates rules to facilitate legitimate travel and fight illegal migration
European Commission: New EU visa rules – Questions and Answers (31 January 2020)

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