Breaking visa barriers for European Integration sign now

Current requirements for obtaining a visa prevent young people from visa-needing countries from learning about European culture and values. We can not expect real European integration if those students have no opportunity to travel and experience life outside their countries. This further creates the feeling that the EU is not supporting them in their efforts to become more democratic and instead it is building barriers to their interaction with the majority of European countries. Students feel excluded from what is called European Higher Education Area. Visa obstacles to participate in academic and cultural life in other countries make them build prejudices, which lead to intolerance. We regard visa regime as a tool of discrimination.

Benefit of visa-needing' countries' future leaders learning more about Europe, its citizens, culture and democratic principles is enormous. Future academics, teachers and professors, politicians, managers, scientists should be given an opportunity to create a new picture of Europe in their home countries, and to promote democratic and tolerant society. Students from visa-needing countries do want to experience Europe, educationally, scientifically or as tourists. Facing many difficulties, visa expenses and complicated procedure, young people are discouraged in their first steps towards Europe, and feel excluded from interaction with their peers in the EU.

Thus Young people of Europe are demanding immediate liberalisation of the visa system for all students, young professionals and youth workers active in civil society, providing free visas in the interim period until political consensus has been reached.

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Ursula CummingsBy:
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European Institutions and National Governments of EU

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