The visa policy for the 21st Century: beyond the visa queue– a book of current concern with concrete answers on the international level.

MIGRATIONS - Jan 24, 2013

Last 20 December 2012, the book “The visa policy for the 21st century: beyond the visa queue” was presented at CIDOB headquarters in Barcelona. The research, which has been edited by CIDOB itself, addresses several aspects of the common visa policy of the European Union. The book deals with topics such as security, economic issues, and includes examples of the visa system affects individuals. In short, the book opens the door to a new array of investigation, up until now unexplored.

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Last 20 December 2012, the book “The visa policy for the 21st century: beyond the visa queue” was presented at CIDOB headquarters in Barcelona. The research, which has been edited by CIDOB itself, addresses several aspects of the common visa policy of the European Union. The book deals with topics such as security, economic issues, and includes examples of the visa system affects individuals. In short, the book opens the door to a new array of investigation, up until now unexplored.

Carles Gasóliba, President of CIDOB, opened the session by putting forward the importance of the book as it deals with a topic of current concern and it seeks to give concrete answers, both nationally and internationally, to the questions of human mobility that is so relevant in the current context of economic crisis. The other two invited of the evening, Carles Campuzano, spokesperson of the Employment and Social Security Commisssion of the Congreso de los Diputados and the president of ACSAR, and Joaquim Gay de Montellá, president of Foment del Treball Nacional (organization for Catalan Businesses), argued along the same lines.

Campuzano stressed the fact that, because of the crisis, immigration has completely disappeared from the political agenda. But he also pointed out that the question of human mobility is again proving the need to discuss this topic. He further noted that in the first decade of the 21st century the EU countries in general, and Spain in particular, experienced an intense inflow of immigrants without being prepared for it, and focus was mainly put on the security aspect while losing sight of other issues such as those pertaining to the business world. He concluded by saying that Spain will become a “country of immigration” again, which is why the book is fundamental for the future Spanish, as well as the European, immigration policies.

Gay de Montellá stressed, on his part, that the issue of visa has always been very important to the business world, and it is often considered a barrier, especially in the sectors of tourism and real estate. Moreover, he brought attention to the efforts that the business sector is making in order to inform the government about the harm closed borders, which is felt through the system of visas, is doing to the economy. He also emphasised the huge advancement that the Community Code on Visas has meant to the improvement of visa process. However, he pointed out that we should continue to make more flexible the process of demanding visas for foreign businessmen.

Another person who was present at the panel was CIDOB’s Director and co-editor of the book, Jordi Vaquer, who gave a more detailed presentation of the book, putting forward the main arguments of each chapter. He argued that one of the lessons that can be drawn is that the system of visas is an underexplored and complex field of study, insofar that it lacks a cross-sectoral dialogue. In that sense he also underscored that besides good laws there is a need for their adequate application. Lastly, Vaquer wished to finish the presentation by confirming that the book is a reference for politicians and policy makers, who strive for the final objective to put in place a clear and efficient system of visas.

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