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This article provides an analysis of the objective, substantive and policy implications of the EC visa facilitation and readmission agreements. These agreements have gained importance in the EU`s external policy, as the EU has begun to see visa facilitation regimes not only as a necessary incentive to sign a readmission agreement, but also as a means of mitigating the negative side effects of eastward enlargement. By offering more relaxed travel conditions in exchange for the approval of an EC readmission agreement and reforms in the areas of justice and home affairs, the EU has found a new way to put pressure on reforms in neighbouring countries while facing a significant source of discontent in these countries. The analysis takes into account the wider impact of these agreements and argues that, while facilitated travel opportunities are beneficial for citizens of destination countries, the positive successes of Schengen enlargement are undermined by Schengen enlargement, which requires new Member States to tighten their borders with their neighbours. Visa statistics demonstrate the growing importance of eu-Belarus relations. In 2019, the number of Schengen visa applications in Belarus reached almost 650,000. The conclusion of an agreement to facilitate the issuance of visas is an important step in relations between our citizens and will help to strengthen our economic, cultural and scientific relations. The VISA FACILITATION and Readmission Agreements between the EU and Belarus enter into force today. These agreements are an important step towards strengthening the EU`s commitment to the Belarusian population and civil society.

They will pave the way for improving citizens` mobility, facilitate travel from Belarus to the EU and help strengthen ties between Belarus and the EU. Helping citizens to move around Europe in a safe environment is a key element of the Eastern Partnership, which promotes the mobility of citizens of the EU`s Eastern Partner Countries through visa facilitation agreements and contains rules for managing the return of irregular migrants through readmission agreements. The Agreement on the Readmission of Persons staying Without Authorisation establishes clear obligations and procedures for EU Member States and Belarus for the readmission of illegal citizens present on the territory of the other Party. The Agreement applies both to the readmission of its nationals and to third-country nationals and stateless persons, provided that they have a clear link with the requested country (e.g. B visa or residence permit). Press release: Visa facilitation and readmission: European Union and Belarus sign agreement, 8 January 2020 Visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper for Belarusians travelling to the Schengen area and EU citizens travelling to Belarus to obtain an easier and cheaper visa. . .