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The right to movement: addressing the challenges faced by Turkish citizens and other non-EU citizens in visa applications to Schengen Area States

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15560 | 22 June 2022

Mr Ahmet YILDIZ, Türkiye, NR ; Mr Ziya ALTUNYALDIZ, Türkiye, NR ; Ms Nigar ARPADARAI, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Ms Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Kamil AYDIN, Türkiye, NR ; Ms Hannah BARDELL, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Lynn BOYLAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Klotilda BUSHKA, Albania, SOC ; Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Mr Ahmet Ünal ÇEVİKÖZ, Türkiye, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Ms Arzu ERDEM, Türkiye, NR ; Ms Sevinj FATALIYEVA, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Mr Erkin GADIRLI, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Emine Nur GÜNAY, Türkiye, NR ; Mr Sabir HAJIYEV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Kamal JAFAROV, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Mr Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Sweden, UEL ; Mr Bjarni JÓNSSON, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Mai KIVELÄ, Finland, UEL ; Mr Haluk KOÇ, Türkiye, SOC ; Sir Edward LEIGH, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Mariia MEZENTSEVA, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Türkiye, UEL ; Mr George PAPANDREOU, Greece, SOC ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Maria RIZZOTTI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Lord Simon RUSSELL, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Selin SAYEK BÖKE, Türkiye, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EC/DA ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Diana STOICA, Romania, ALDE ; Ms Feleknas UCA, Türkiye, UEL

Cross border movement of persons is a prerequisite for enjoyment of many rights deriving from the Council of Europe Conventions and is an important condition for the robust development of individuals. It is also the key enabler for the flourishment of the “human-to-human contact” which in turn lays the ground for a peaceful, harmonious, collaborative, creative and progressive social dialogue among member States.

Although the member States, in principle, have sole competence in determining the conditions of entry of other citizens into their territory, they are at the same time under treaty obligations, when deciding on the matter to observe basic norms of human rights and the rule of law.

However, regrettably, some member States in the EU Schengen Area unduly restrict the “bona-fide” movement of persons by employing increasingly restrictive procedures for issuing Schengen visas to Turkish and other non-EU citizens.

As a result excessively long bureaucratic procedures, complicated application forms, long queues, exaggerated conditionality on the financial situation, interrogative questioning and unexplained visa denials curtail the cross-border movement.

These practices prevent citizens of non-Schengen area member States from participating in the cultural, social and scientific activities in the Schengen area, hamper free trade and erect a barrier for those who would like to visit their relatives residing there. In addition, it is an obstacle to the achievement of a greater unity between Council of Europe member States to safeguard and realise its ideals and principles.

Therefore, this motion seeks to address the shortcomings of the Schengen Visa System and the challenges faced by non-EU citizens. It also aims at providing solutions to improve the bona-fide cross-border of all citizens of Council of Europe member States.