In the nonbinding resolution, the European Parliament played tit-for-tat in a long-standing dispute, demanding that U.S. travel requirements for citizens of five countries be lifted.
BRUSSELS — The European Parliament has adopted a nonbinding resolution calling for the reintroduction of visa requirements for U.S. citizens, raising the stakes in a long-running battle over the United States’ refusal to grant visa-free access to citizens of five European Union (EU) countries.
In the vote Thursday, European lawmakers played tit-for-tat in their dispute with the United States, demanding restrictions on American travelers unless the Trump administration lifts travel requirements for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
“You’re talking about citizens from countries, like Poland, with a major diaspora” in the United States, said Claude Moraes, the British lawmaker who leads the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, in a telephone interview Friday. “You’re really seeing frustration and anger, and without any timetable, this is becoming increasingly seen as second-class treatment.”
The resolution, while nonbinding, was an important political signal, and it increases pressure on the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, to confront the new administration in the U.S., even though it may prove to be as intransigent on the matter as the Obama administration, if not more.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
In the vote Thursday, the Parliament gave the European Commission two months to take legal measures to impose visas for American travelers to the EU unless the United States offered reciprocity to all citizens from the bloc.
Parliament’s measure was approved in a show of hands and was not expected to worsen the standoff with the United States. But in the event that the court in Luxembourg were to rule in favor of Parliament, the commission might be forced to impose visa requirements on Americans. The Trump administration, finding itself in a battle over access, would then almost certainly do the same for travelers from the EU.
Margaritis Schinas, chief spokesman for the commission, appeared to tamp down any expectations that it would impose visa requirements on Americans within two months, as outlined in the Parliament resolution. Instead, he said he advocated “continued engagement and patient diplomatic contacts” with Washington.