Visa Liberalisation Dialogue
On 16 December 2013, the European Union (EU) and Turkey launched the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue (VLD), in parallel with the signature of the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement. The aim of the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation dialogue is to make progress towards the elimination of the visa obligation currently imposed on the Turkish citizens travelling to the Schengen area for a short term visit. The VLD is based on the Roadmap towards a visa-free regime with Turkey, a document setting out the requirements that Turkey needs to meet in order to enable the European Parliament and the Council to amend Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 which would allow Turkish citizens holding biometric passports that are in line with EU standards to travel to the Schengen Member States without a visa for short stays (i.e. up to 90 days within any 180-day period), and allow citizens of those EU Member States that still need a visa for short stays to enter Turkey to travel visa free. The Roadmap outlines 72 benchmarks under five thematic groups, namely document security; migration management; public order and security; fundamental rights; and readmission of irregular migrants. Of these, Turkey has so far met 66 benchmarks, while six have yet to be fulfilled.