President Juan Manuel Santos expressed joy Monday over the prospect of Colombians not needing short-term visas to enter the European Union (EU). Preliminary votes in the EU indicate that the proposal will pass.
President Santos said that the news of the vote was “very important and very positive for Colombia,” while addressing his ministers on Monday afternoon.
The Minister for Foreign Relations, Maria Angela Holguin, stated that “this is a genuine demonstration of confidence” in Colombia and it acknowledges the progress that has been made on security, economic development and political stability within the country.
This vote has been a long time coming after bureaucracy and criticisms delayed the vote. But now it seems as though Colombia has been given the green light.
The first vote took place within the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament and determined whether or not to allow Colombians to travel freely within the EU without needing to obtain a short-term visa. The proposal passed 48 to 6 with one abstention.
The final decision lies with the EU Commission and the European Council, which is made up of the interior ministers from the EU’s member states.