Ethiopia ‘dismayed’ by EU restriction on visa provisions for Ethiopians

Flags of Ethiopia and the EU. Addis Standard Collage

Addis Ababa – The Ethiopian government said it was “dismayed by the decision of the Council of the European Union to temporarily suspend certain elements of EU law regulating the issuance of visas to Ethiopian nationals.”

In a statement issued by the Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels, the government also said the decision was “taken at a time when both parties are working closely for the return of Ethiopians who have been denied legal permission to remain in the member states of the European Union in a dignified environment”. , orderly and safe.”

On Monday this week, the EU Council decided to “temporarily suspend certain elements of EU law regulating the issuance of visas to Ethiopian nationals.”

According to the decision, it will no longer be possible for EU member states to “waive the requirements regarding the evidence to be submitted by Ethiopian visa applicants; issue multiple entry visas; and exempt holders of diplomatic and service passports from the visa fee.” The standard visa processing time is also extended from 15 to 45 calendar days.

The EU cited the “lack of response from the Ethiopian authorities” on the readmission of nationals who “remain illegally in the EU.” The suspension, which according to the EU was carried out after “an evaluation by the Commission.” It is temporary but there is no specific information on when it will appear on the list.

But Ethiopia challenged the decision, saying it “failed to take into account the painstaking process that takes place to establish the identities of nationalities.” It also “obstructs ongoing practical measures in the implementation of the Agreement on Admission Procedures for the Return of Ethiopians from Member States of the European Union.”

Ethiopia said its strong cooperation with the EU has “helped to return and reintegrate Ethiopian nationals” and called on the EU to “reconsider its position”, while its Embassy in Brussels “will advise on measures in line with the decision on the procedures of admission of the return of Ethiopians from the member states of the European Union.” AS