21:51 Sep. 26, 2016
Key committee of the European Parliament backed the Ukrainian cause, some hurdles remain
Ukrainians' hopes of securing visa-free travel to the European Union received a boost on Monday when a key committee of the European Parliament backed their cause, but further hurdles remain, Reuters inform.
The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee backed the proposal for visa-free travel for Ukraine by 38 votes to four against.
A team of lawmakers will now start negotiations on the matter with the European Council, which brings together representatives of the EU member states.
Still, Ukraine faces stiffer resistance from some EU member states at a time of heightened public concern over immigration after more than a million migrants and refugees arrived in the bloc last year.
The powerful duo of Germany and France oppose granting more visa-free movement before the bloc has beefed up an emergency mechanism that will allow the swift suspension of more lenient travel rules in the event of a sharp increase in immigration.
Negotiations on this so-called 'suspension mechanism' have ground to a halt, denting the hopes for visa-free travel to the EU of another former Soviet republic, Georgia.
As UT reported, the head of EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Andrej Plenkovic staded earlier, that today EP Committee will approve report on visa-free regime for Ukraine. On previous week EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn said the European Union will cancel visas for Ukrainians next month.