The European Parliament has passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the reintroduction of visa requirements for American citizens, raising the stakes in a long-running battle over the United States’ refusal to grant visa-free access to citizens of five European Union countries.
In the vote on Thursday, European lawmakers played tit-for-tat in their dispute with the United States, demanding restrictions on American travelers unless the Trump administration lifts travel requirements for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
“You’re talking about citizens from countries, like Poland, with a major diaspora” in the United States, Claude Moraes, the British lawmaker who leads the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, said in a telephone interview on Friday. “You’re really seeing frustration and anger, and without any timetable, this is becoming increasingly seen as second-class treatment.”
The resolution, while nonbinding, was an important political signal, and it increases pressure on the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, to confront the new administration in Washington, even though it may prove to be as intransigent on the matter as the Obama administration, if not more.