Americans Might Soon Need Visas for European Vacations

If the looming spring pleasantries are any indication, it’s almost vacation season. American tourists -- those of the shouting, lewd and generally unpleasant variety -- often partake in a European sojourn during the summer months. But according to a new non-binding resolution that was just passed by the EU’s Parliament, lawmakers are seeking to curb the flow of Americans flocking to sites like the Colosseum and Eiffel Tower by requiring them to apply for visas -- even for vacations.

Starting in May, your European holiday could collide with a giant, bureaucratic wall. According to Reuters, the impasse stems from the United States’ failure to recognize an EU reciprocity agreement stemming from 2014. Under the terms, the US would grant visa-free travel to five EU countries -- Cyprus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland and Romania. Since the White House still denies visa-free travel for citizens of that EU bloc, Europe is clapping back with its own retaliation measure -- stymieing your dream vacation with annoying-ass red tape.

As the New York Times reports, there’s still time for this measure to fizzle. If the Trump administration concedes, granting unrestricted travel to the bloc, then Americans will be able to freely vacation without visas. In the meantime, the European Commission -- the bloc’s main governing body -- has two months to decide whether to implement the ruling.

Of course, the one thing in America’s favor here is the European tourism industry. Forcing the entire country to apply for visas just to drink wine in Granada and eat doner kebab in Berlin would deprive Europe of revenue it largely needs. Whether the EU wants to shoot itself in the foot in this regard really is a gambit left up to its lawmakers. 

A lot of this is tied up in archaic Cold War hysteria. Many moons ago, most of the countries ensnared in this fiasco were nestled within the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. As a nation, we’re still nursing a hangover from that era.

Anyway, let’s hope officials come to their senses and allow everyone to go on vacation. Otherwise we're gonna be pissed. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.