If you're planning on checking, "traveling through Europe" off your bucket list any time soon, we have some bad news: it could soon become a lot harder for Americans to visit Europe.
The Independent reports that the European Union just voted to reintroduce visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling as tourists to European countries. Apparently, the vote is a reaction to the fact that the U.S. still does not allow visitors from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania to travel to the U.S. without a visa - and the EU requires that all of its member nations be treated equally.
Currently, U.S. citizens can travel to all European countries for tourism purposes, including the five countries the U.S. places visa restrictions on, without any kind of visa.
“You’re talking about citizens from countries, like Poland, with a major diaspora," Claude Moraes, a member of the European Parliament, told the New York Times of the EU's decision. “You’re really seeing frustration and anger, and without any timetable, this is becoming increasingly seen as second-class treatment.”
If the policy actually goes into effect - which could happen if the U.S. continues to impose visa restrictions on those five European countries - the EU will require U.S. citizens to apply for travel documents for at least one year.
But don't panic just yet - as Reuters notes, there's a decent likelihood that nothing will actually happen, and the European Commission will look to a diplomatic option instead - especially since imposing visas on U.S. citizens could result in a loss of tourism money.