Ukrainians will be able to travel visa-free to most of the EU about a month after the final signing of the Regulation in the European Parliament today. This is the result of a long process successfully completed by members of the EPP Group.

“I welcome today's signature. We are sending a strong message to the citizens of Ukraine who see their country committed to the European path. We must not forget that when we discuss visa liberalisation, we are talking about citizens’ freedoms, citizens’ lives. Indeed, visa waiver is a remarkable tool that allows people-to-people contact and builds bridges among populations”, said the EPP Group Spokeswoman Mariya Gabriel MEP.

The visa liberalisation process has been a very effective instrument for the implementation of ambitious reforms in Ukraine in the domains of security, justice and fundamental freedoms that benefit the Ukrainian citizens.

Michael Gahler MEP, Standing Rapporteur on Ukraine, hailed the final signature of the EU law granting visa exemption to Ukrainian citizens.

"I am happy that we have delivered on our promise after Ukraine fulfilled all the requirements. We are now sending a strong political message to the Ukrainian citizens: the EU is opening its arms to you! I am confident that apart from business travellers, young people in particular will benefit from easy access to the EU. Come and get to know our EU Member States and our citizens. Look at the way well-functioning public administrations provide services and infrastructure. The more Ukrainian citizens experience the EU, the more we will see support grow for reforms and democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine. We are also giving a signal to the inhabitants of the occupied areas in Donbass and Crimea who currently cannot benefit from such visa freedom."

The Regulation will be published soon in the EU’s Official journal and 20 days later, Ukrainians with a biometric passport will no longer need visas if they wish to visit the EU for business, tourism or family purposes.

The UK and Ireland are exempt from this but the visa-free travel also applies to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States

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