The European Parliament has approved technical amendments to the short-stay visa waiver agreement between the European Union and Brazil.
Brazilians and Europeans must continue to travel simply and economically within a clearer and more coherent legal framework.Paulo Ranger, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur
Last Thursday, the European Parliament approved, by 587 votes in favor and three against, two reports by MEP Paulo Rangel that recommend the approval of the revision of the agreements between the European Union and Brazil regarding the exemption of visas for short stays.
1. New definition of ‘short stay’
It has been revealed that the technical adjustments that have been made aim to include in these agreements the new definition of ‘short stay’ – 90 days within a period of 180 days – as provided for in the amendment of the Schengen Borders Code.
The European Parliament explains that this wording in terms of days rather than months makes it easier for checks and calculations to be carried out by computer and electronic means. In addition, it has been noted that this new wording is also better suited to centralised border management systems such as the Entry/Exit System (EES), which is widely used within the EU/Schengen Area.
“Brazilians and Europeans must continue to travel simply and economically within a clearer and more coherent legal framework. The relationship with Brazil is fundamental in the global geopolitical and geoeconomic balance. The history we share, the rapprochement between the European and Brazilian peoples and the geopolitical and geoeconomic implications are fundamental reasons for moving forward with the approval of this agreement,” stressed Paulo Rangel.
The EU Council authorised the EU Commission back in 2014 in starting the negotiations with Brazil regarding the short-stay visa waiver agreements. The negotiations between the EU and Brazil were concluded in October 2017, and the agreements were signed in September 2021.
2. About the Entry/Exit System (EES)
The Entry/Exit System (EES) will be an automated IT system for registering travellers from third-countries, both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border. The system will register the person’s name, type of the travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection.
It will also record refusals of entry. EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports, which is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of over-stayers (travellers who have exceeded the maximum duration of their authorised stay).
EES will contribute to prevent irregular migration and help protect the security of European citizens. The new system will also help bona fide third-country nationals to travel more easily while also identifying more efficiently over-stayers as well as cases of document and identity fraud. In addition to this, the system will enable to make a wider use of automated border control checks and self-service systems, which are quicker and more comfortable for the traveller.