We wish we were making this up: You might soon need a visa to go to Europe.
This vote comes after the U.S. failed to agree to allow citizens of five countries in the EU — Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania — to travel to the States visa-free, as part of a previous reciprocity agreement. Normally, U.S. citizens can travel to all EU countries without needing a visa.
"You’re talking about citizens from countries like Poland, with a major diaspora" in the U.S., Claude Moraes, a British lawmaker who leads the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, said in an interview with The New York Times. "You’re really seeing frustration and anger, and without any timetable, this is becoming increasingly seen as second-class treatment."
The Parliament is giving the European Commission two months to impose the visa requirements on American travelers — unless the U.S. starts letting in citizens of the above five countries without a visa.
"Only when the U.S. fully gets that the European Commission is going to act are we going to get any kind of timetable from the United States," Moraes told The New York Times. "At the moment, the U.S. just believes the commission is not going to act but stick with the pragmatic argument that doing so would create damage that’s just too great."
He continued: "There’s no denying heightened concern about the current administration, but that’s more about uncertainty about who’s in charge and how the State Department is working."