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EU/United Arab Emirates Agreement: short-stay visa waiver

The European Parliament adopted by 537 votes to 80 with 59 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the United Arab Emirates on the short-stay visa waiver.

Following the recommendation of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement.

The Agreement provides for visa-free travel for the citizens of the European Union and for the citizens of the United Arab Emirates when travelling to the territory of the other Contracting Party for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period. The visa waiver covers all categories of persons (ordinary, diplomatic, service/official and special passport holders) travelling for all kinds of purposes, except for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.

Human rights situation in the United Arab Emirates

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the United Arab Emirates.

The resolution was tabled by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA, and GUE/NGL groups.

It expresses great concern about assaults, repression and intimidation against human rights defenders, political activists and civil society actors within the United Arab Emirates and call on the UAE authorities to halt the ongoing crackdowns immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and activists, noting that the number of political detainees is now 64.

Parliament considers that the evidence indicates that national security is the pretext for a crackdown on peaceful activism designed to stifle calls for constitutional reform and reform on human rights issues such as statelessness, whereas the UEA insists the crackdown is a response to a foreign-inspired Islamist plot that aims to overthrow the government.[...]