The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, announced last week that it would not begin requiring U.S. visitors to Europe to get visas. Currently, U.S. citizens can travel to the 28 EU member states with only a passport.
Under the Visa Waiver program, the U.S. and Europe admit each other's citizens for routine travel, except that the U.S. has not added 5 of the EU's members to the list—Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
That omission has caused friction, since EU rules call for all member states to be treated equally, leading to the European Parliament voting to have the Commission cut off visa-free travel for U.S. citizens. The resolution was non-binding.
The Commission explained it would not comply because doing so "would be counterproductive at this moment, and would not serve the objective of achieving visa-free travel for all EU citizens. On the contrary, it would immediately result in retaliatory measures by the U.S., leading to the visa requirement being imposed on all E.U. citizens.”
Instead, the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said, he would continue negotiations and discussions with the U.S., hoping to succeed as previous negotiations have with Canada. He will report to the Parliament again by the end of the year.