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As the last meeting took place in Minsk, the Commission suggested this time for the negotiators to meet in Brussels, Belgium in the course of September 2018. The Commission expressed its readiness to proceed with the negotiations with a view to concluding them as soon as possible.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "The European Union is firmly committed to strengthening its engagement with the Belarusian people and civil society. Visa facilitation in particular will enhance people-to-people contacts, which, beyond personal networks, would also enable businesses to develop stronger ties, benefitting our economies. I would like to thank the Belarusian authorities for their engagement in the negotiations on both agreements. This cooperation is in both of our interest, and most importantly in the interest of our citizens."
The negotiations on Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements were formally launched in January 2014 and four rounds of negotiations have taken place so far. The last meeting took place in Minsk, Belarus in June 2017 and good progress was made in particular, on the future Readmission Agreement.
When concluded, the agreements will make the process of issuing EU short-stay visas to Belarusian citizens easier and cheaper, as well as improve the readmission of own-nationals who have no right to stay on EU territory.
For more information
EU launches Mobility Partnership with Belarus, October 2016
Eastern Partnership Summit Joint Declaration, November 2017
DG HOME website - Mobility partnerships, visa facilitation and readmission agreements
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