«I sincerely congratulate all those who expected the abolition of the visa regime of Ukraine with the European Union», — emphasizes the public figure and lawyer, Alexander Solovyov. Now, after the decision of the European Parliament for granting a visa-free regime with the EU for Ukrainian citizens, for its final entry into force one step is required — approval by the Council of the EU, the body uniting the ministers of the member countries. It is expected that such a meeting of the EU Council will be held in May, after which the visa-free regime for Ukrainians will work in June.

Holders of biometric passports must then be given the right to freely enjoy the opportunities of their tourist trips. Those who decide to continue to use the familiar foreign passports should, as before, take care of the visa. The visa-free regime does not mean lack of control by EU border guards: they have the right to check the purpose of the trip, the availability and amount of money from the traveler, and will ask about travel documents.

The visa-free regime with the EU will not affect the employment opportunities of our citizens abroad. More precisely, permission to travel without a visa and work for hire — it’s generally not related things. It can be assumed that many of our fellow citizens will try to use the visa-free regime to work illegally in the EU. I am sure that the law enforcement bodies of the European Union are ready for such a turn of events, and therefore we should expect an increase in the forced deportations of some of our too enterprising compatriots.

Some Ukrainian experts say that the visa-free regime has a very specific economic price. This is the abolition of the moratorium on the export of round timber from Ukraine, raising the retirement age, the introduction of purchase and sale of agricultural land. Is it so? Wait and see.

“Deutsche Welle” already mentioned that there are fears in the EU that granting «visa-free travel» will deprive Brussels of an important lever of influence on the Ukrainian authorities. Quoting the MEPs say: visa-free regime can be canceled if Kiev does not demonstrate the proper will to fight corruption.

Here I have two questions. First, even under the current government, none of the high-ranking officials was held accountable, and the state was not compensated for the damage to the state. This means that no will to fight corruption has been demonstrated. Secondly, who in the West and by what criteria will decide that this will has disappeared? And is this a sufficient reason to cancel the visa-free regime, or just an excuse for this?

At the end of the article, I note that for those who want to save on the visa in the EU country of 35 euros, as well as those organized enough of our fellow citizens, who are not able to organize their time to get a Schengen visa — the EU’s decision is really a holiday. But for majority of Ukrainians this isn`t a holiday, who not only can`t dream about travelling to Europe, but are also preoccupied with hard daily work in order to survive.

Olexandr Solovyov

Translation — Olexandr Trocholis

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