Joint Statement by Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, and John McCallum, Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, following meetings in Brussels


Brussels, July 11, 2016 – European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, met on July 11, 2016, in Brussels, Belgium as part of ongoing discussions on issues of mutual interest, including visa policy. They made the following joint statement:

“Following up on the meeting on May 23rd between Minister McCallum and Commissioner Avramopoulos in Canada, we were very pleased to continue our productive dialogue on visa issues. Today we were joined by Mr Dragos Tudorache, Minister, Head of Prime Minister's Chancellery of Romania, Mr Rumen Alexandrov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, and Mr Philip Gounev, Deputy Minister of the Interior of  Bulgaria to review the progress made to date on Canada’s ongoing assessment of Romania and Bulgaria against its criteria for a visa exemption.

“We discussed the visit that Canadian technical experts undertook to Romania last month, as well as the similar visit to Bulgaria, which is planned for the end of July. Minister McCallum thanked the governments of Romania and Bulgaria for their continued collaboration in supporting the assessment process, which is expected to be completed this summer. Commissioner Avramopoulos reiterated that the objective of the European Union is full visa reciprocity for all its Member States.

“We acknowledged the need to take tangible steps in order to improve the current situation, in which Bulgarian and Romanian citizens are required to obtain visas to travel to Canada. To continue in this spirit of constructive engagement, Minister McCallum undertook to inform European partners in early fall on the outcomes of the assessments and timelines for visa liftings, including the necessary elements of cooperation by Romania and Bulgaria.

“Our dialogues underline the importance of the strong bonds between Canada and the European Union. They also reflect our countries’ mutual goal of visa-free travel to Canada for all European Union Member States.

“We all remain optimistic that our meetings this week, and our ongoing close cooperation, will bring us closer to achieving that goal.”

For further information (media only), please contact:

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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