The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, announced today that Spain has requested European institutions to allow the entry without visa of Ecuadorian citizens to the Schengen area for short periods.
“The Spanish government complied with my request: it has just requested the European Union the exemption of the Schengen visa for Ecuadorians,” the Ecuadorian president informed the citizens in a message on his Twitter account. The secretariat of communication, dependent on the Ecuadorian presidency, explained that Spain has requested “the exemption of visas for the entry of Ecuadorians for short periods, for tourism or business purposes.”
“Once the process is completed within the institutional framework of the block, the elimination of this requirement will allow Ecuadorians to circulate freely, for short periods of up to 90 days, every six months, in the 26 countries that make up the so-called Schengen area, most of the European Union, “adds the press release. And he explains that, later, like Colombia and Peru did, “Ecuador must sign treaties with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, states that are not part of the EU but are associated with the application of the Schengen agreement.”
The access of Ecuadorians without a visa to the EU space, as occurs with Colombians and Peruvians, is one of the foreign policy issues on which the current Government of Ecuador has worked the most.
Last December, during a visit to Spain, Moreno raised the issue with the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, whom he asked to intercede with the EU institutions.
On that trip he was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Fernanda Espinosa, who today highlighted in a statement the impact that this has on Ecuadorians to visit their families in Europe.
“Only in Spain is estimated that 435,000 Ecuadorians reside, while in Italy the figure is around 170,000,” he added.
Espinosa recalls that one of Moreno’s messages to Rajoy at that time was that “hundreds of Ecuadorians, due to the visa requirement, could not see their relatives before they passed away.”
And he recalled the paradox Moreno had evoked in Madrid about “capital easily passing the borders” while putting obstacles to human beings.
The note from Espinosa highlights that his Ministry negotiates the question of visas with “the European Commission and the Council of Europe”, but he remembers that “the opinion of the European Parliament is also necessary”. (I)