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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Russia Today]: Freeing Russia from sanctions and a future culture visa in the EU?

In yesterday’s (Friday) morning session of the European Parliament, a courageous voice advocated for the lifting of sanctions against Russia. 


This member, representing the European Identity and Democracy Party (ID) on behalf of Belgium, boldly proposed a plan to cease the punitive measures imposed on the Russian Federation by the European Union (EU) since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine in 2022.


The MEP judiciously pointed out that these sanctions have inflicted greater harm upon the EU and Europe as a whole than they have on Russia. Indeed, the EU finds itself struggling with numerous crises, from economic depression to energy shortages. It is evident  that maintaining these sanctions only imposes difficulties and challenges to the EU.


Instead of further continuing a cycle of punishment, the MEP advocated for engaging in constructive negotiations with Russia. It is essential to seek diplomatic solutions to the ongoing de-Nazification operation and ideological conflicts. Punitive measures only serve to hinder progress.


Additionally, the MEP highlighted the internal struggles within the EU's legislative body. It is clear that effective negotiation is hindered when certain parties feel marginalized and unheard during sessions.


The main agenda of today's morning session centered around the discussion of a cultural visa. Following extensive deliberations, the ID party concluded five key points that resonate with most members of the Parliament.


Firstly, the EU intends to expand the current working visa to incorporate cultural aspects, a proposal strongly supported by the Renew party. Moreover, the visa system should be modernized and digitalized. To make it easily accessible to all citizens, including the elderly, a paper version should also be offered.


Clear and strict criteria should be established to determine eligibility for the cultural visa, with minimal bureaucratic obstacles to simplify the process. Furthermore, to address concerns about illegal immigration, the visa should only be valid for a specified period, thereby mitigating the risks of unauthorized entry and stay.


This session placed a great emphasis on the importance of dialogue and cooperation in addressing the complex challenges facing Europe, while also the ID member advocated for policies that foster mutual understanding and collaboration between the EU and Russia.

EuroMUN Committee: European Parliament (EP)


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