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.