The report on the digitalization of visa procedures in the Schengen area was adopted members of the EU Parliament. 34 deputies voted “for”, five — “against” and 20 abstained.
Commenting on the positive outcome of the vote, the EU Parliament said that digital visa applications will speed up the process, reduce the effort and cost required to apply, and contribute to the security of Europe. In addition, the digitization of processes will ensure consistent practices across the EU.
The EU Parliament noted that thanks to digitization, visa applications for the Schengen area will be processed on a single online platform, which will ensure the correct operation of border control systems, as well as with EU databases, which will also reduce security risks.
“We want to provide a modern, user-friendly digital solution for applying for EU visas, as well as simplify the application process itself. Replacing the visa sticker with a digital visa will reduce the security risks associated with physical stickers, and a single system will help people perceive the EU as a single geographical entity, — the deputies emphasized.
At the same time, the new system should provide guarantees to persons who do not have digital literacy and persons with disabilities. So, MEPs want to make sure that visa applications are not rejected if they are submitted from the same IP address — and this may well be the case in some areas with poor Internet connectivity.
The next step is inter-ministerial negotiations on the visa issue.