Monday 12 June 2006, by Stefan Batory Foundation
The underlying surveys of this Report were carried out towards the end of 2005 in the Consulates of some EU Member States - in Kyiv, Chisinau, Minsk and Moscow. We surveyed the visa systems of Belgium, Finland, France, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. The project included interviews with 961 persons who had lodged visa applications, with 85% of the positive response ratio. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals who had been refused visas, as well as with Consulate staff .
This Report is a part of the ‘Friendly EU Border’ Project initiated by the Stefan Batory Foundation. The Report is a result of cooperation between Collegium Civitas and four non-governmental organisations from Eastern Europe: the Belarusian Centre for Social Innovation, the Moldavian Institute for Public Policy, the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights and the Ukrainian Centre for Peace, Conversion and Foreign Policy. The project was also supported by experts from EU Member States and from the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
The ‘Friendly EU Border’ Programme was initiated in 2002. So far it has embraced the monitoring of the Polish visa policy (Monitoring of the Polish Visa Policy - Report, Stefan Batory Foundation, Warsaw 2004); the way the border services treated foreigners crossing the Polish Eastern border was also examined (Monitoring of the Eastern Borders of Poland, Stefan Batory Foundation, Warsaw 2003). The ‘Friendly EU Border’ project is aimed at raising the standards of service with respect to foreigners on EU borders, with a view to ensuring a more efficient EU visa system and encouraging the public to be more sensitive towards the need to introduce friendlier border procedures in order to promote neighbourly relations and human interactions.
The underlying surveys of this Report showed on the one hand large discrepancies in the policies pursued by the individual Schengen States with regard to the granting of visas, and on the other - a number of similarities between the practices applied by the Consulates of the Schengen States and those applied by the Consulates of non-Schengen States. Some questions arise: What should be the direction of visa policy in order to prevent another
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 The scope and methodology of the survey have been described in more detail in Annex I. The questionnaire used during interviews is available at www.openborders.pl (see Annex IV). Annexes IV to VII are available in electronic version only.