It could soon be more difficult for Canadians to travel to certain countries in the European Union as the Parliament is currently exploring visa reciprocation legislation.
The clause would require visitor visas for citizens from countries who require the same of their citizens. That could soon mean that Canadians travelling to Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic will need travel visas.
Canada has recently stirred up international controversy for introducing visa requirements for visitors travelling from the above nations, as well as those visiting from Mexico.
The European Parliament has already voted in favour of the new clause in a show of solidarity amoung European countries, which feel the Canadian requirements are not fair, as they do not apply to all member nations. However, there is still a long process to go through before the clause could be enacted.
Canadian officials, for their part, stand behind their regulations despite recent opposition. They argue that recent impositions of visas are justified and are part of a larger strategy to combat fraudulent asylum claims.
“[Canada is] committed to working towards visa-free travel for citizens of all EU member states and has made significant progress toward this goal,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs.
An estimated 38,000 Canadians travelled to Romania in 2011, with no visas required. Approximately 15,000 travelled to Bulgaria during that same period while figures for the Czech Republic are unavailable.