Brussels/Kuwait City, 11 May 2022 (TDI): The EU Vice President, Margaritis Schinas met with Kuwait’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Al-Dhafiri to discuss the proposal to grant Kuwait citizens visa-free travel.
A pleasure to meet Deputy MFA Al-Dhafiri @MOFAKuwait and discuss our proposal to grant Kuwaiti citizens visa-free travel.
This initiative is no accident – it is the result of Kuwait’s remarkable reform progress and reflects the increasing intensity and depth of our relations. pic.twitter.com/j17ykVVu7L
— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) May 10, 2022
The EU Vice President commended Kuwait on its remarkable reform progress. He stated that it shows the in-depth increase in their relations.
Background on the proposal
On the 27th of April, the EU Commission suggested visa-free travel to European Union countries for Kuwait as well as Qatar.
However, the attempt to enhance the EU’s relationship with the Gulf countries rests on the approval of the proposal on free travel-visa, which is yet to be approved.
More to this, nationals from Kuwait and Qatar that have biometric passports will have an exemption from visa requirements. That is if they require traveling for business, tourism, and family purposes.
The reason is that Kuwait and Qatar include low irregular migration risks. People from Qatar and Kuwait are acknowledged for their cooperative attitude with European Union countries.
This is in line with security issues and their relevance economically in areas of energy for the EU.
Schinas hoped for the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the proposal quickly. Consequently, with the acceptance of the proposal, the EU will begin to negotiate with Kuwait and Qatar on the visa waiver agreement.
Moreover, more than 60 countries obtained visa-free travel to the European Union. Therefore, the proposal will facilitate business and tourism travels.
In addition, the Commission assessed a number of criteria prior to viewing the countries’ suitability. There is an expectation for establishing firm regional coherence.
Noteworthy, the UAE signed the agreement for visa exemption with the EU in 2015.
The Parliament must first vote and adopt its position. Above all, the Council decides to accept the position of the Parliament.