It is a great pleasure for me to present to you today the report on visa and eVisa, a report which was drawn up in the framework of the ACP-EU Migration Action.
Migration has become one of the biggest challenges which we face globally at that moment of time. Migration is caused by a number of different reasons, such as war, poverty, climate change, just to name a few, but also the increased mobility of people. Without further elaborating on the reasons, the mere fact that people are increasingly migrating needed a political response. Therefore, in the last decade, the EU has made major steps towards building a truly comprehensive migration policy, based on common political principals and solidarity. This is not only important internally, but particularly externally!
Within the external action the EU migration policy is based on the following priorities:
This policy is implemented through several political instruments such as bilateral and regional policy dialogues and action plans, visa facilitation and readmission agreements, operational support and capacity building as well as programme and project support made available to third countries and other stakeholders, e.g. civil society and international organisations.
In the framework of this particular project the EU supported the elaboration of recommendations and guidelines with regards to setting up an electronic visa system in Guyana and the integration therein of the Guyanese employment and work permit system. This involved undertaking a review of the Guyana visa system in close collaboration with the relevant Guyana Government agencies. The objective was to support Guyana in developing and implementing a modern visa policy and system.
Why do we think this will be beneficial for Guyana?
I do not want now to go into the details of the recommendations which will be outlined further by other speakers and can be consulted in detail in the report, but I would like to highlight that I appreciate the good cooperation with the Guyanese authorities in putting together this report. Only their openness and collaboration enabled us to present such a detailed and well balanced report. I would also like to thank my colleagues from the International Organisation for Migration for their good work and close cooperation. And last but not least I would like to commend the experts for their untiringly efforts to collect all the information and draft very concrete recommendations.
Now, it is on the Government to closely analyse the recommendations and – if they agree with them- to implement them. It will not be an easy task and a task which require some important investments and policy changes. But in the long-term it is worth doing it, as the whole country will benefit from it. More clarity, more efficiency, more effectiveness, more security, more transparency and less bureaucracy will make Guyana only more attractive to the outside world.
Thank you for your kind attention.