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The aim of the project was to entirely eliminate visas between the EU, Eastern Partnership countries, and Russia, through gradual liberalization of EU visa policy. We have been engaged in efforts to introduce friendly visa and border solutions for our Eastern neighbors since 2002 till 2015. We monitored the visa policies and procedures for issuing visas for citizens of Eastern Europe by the countries of the European Union, as well as the conditions of crossing the European Union’s eastern border. We published the results of our observations and research in a series of reports: on the situation on Poland’s eastern borders and EU’s external borders (in 2003, 2008, 2012 and 2013); on Polish and European visa policy (in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012); [see: Publications]. We presented the reports and recommendations resulting from our research at meetings and conferences organized in Poland, at the EU level, in the member states, and in the countries of Eastern Europe [see: Events].
Since visa-free travel between the EU and selected countries of Eastern Europe has become a long-term EU objective, we focused on proposing solutions which would facilitate implementation of the declarations of EU member states concerning visa-free travel in that region. We actively advocated for: implementation of the declarations made in visa facilitation agreements and in the Community Code on Visas; adoption of Operational Programs leading to visa-fee travel; designing special solutions for Belarus, which authorities are not interested in approximation with the EU; and eliminating visa fees for Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. We have been seeking to present strong arguments for liberalizing visa policies and to dispel the doubts and anxieties of member states related to the introduction of visa-free movement across borders.