Decision 2022/2198 - Suspension in whole of the application of the Agreement with Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver

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Current status

This decision has been published on November 11, 2022 and entered into force on November  8, 2022.


Key information

official title

Council Decision (EU) 2022/2198 of 8 November 2022 on the suspension in whole of the application of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver
Legal instrument Decision
Number legal act Decision 2022/2198
Regdoc number ST(2022)13631
Original proposal COM(2022)531 EN
CELEX number i 32022D2198


Key dates

Document 08-11-2022; Date of adoption
Publication in Official Journal 11-11-2022; OJ L 292 p. 47-49
Effect 08-11-2022; Entry into force Date of document See Art 4
End of validity 31-12-9999


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 292/47



of 8 November 2022

on the suspension in whole of the application of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 77(2), point (a), in conjunction with Article 218(9) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,




The Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver (1) (the ‘Agreement’) was signed on and provisionally applied from 28 May 2015 (2), in order to facilitate travel to the Union for citizens of Vanuatu and travel to Vanuatu for citizens of the Union.



The Agreement is based on the Contracting Parties’ common desire to encourage people-to-people contacts, boost tourism and invigorate business between the Union and Vanuatu.



Under Article 8(4) of the Agreement, either party may suspend in whole or in part the Agreement, in particular for reasons of public policy and the protection of national security. The decision on suspension is to be notified to the other party no later than two months before its planned entry into force. Should the reasons for that suspension cease to exist, the party that has suspended the Agreement is to inform the other party immediately and to lift the suspension.



Vanuatu operates investor citizenship schemes, whereby it has granted Vanuatu nationality to nationals of other countries with no previous connection to Vanuatu, issuing positive decisions on the vast majority of applications. On the basis of the information provided by Vanuatu’s Passport Office on 14 June 2021, by March 2021, it issued over 10 500 passports, with an extremely low rejection rate. That situation raises doubts as to the reliability of the security and due diligence screening carried out by the Vanuatu authorities.



Furthermore, the countries of origin of successful applicants for Vanuatu nationality include several countries whose nationals are required to possess visas when crossing the external borders of the Union.



In exchanges between the Commission and Vanuatu’s authorities in October 2017, November 2019, June 2020 and March 2021, the Commission expressed serious concerns regarding Vanuatu’s investor citizenship schemes, in particular the granting of citizenship to persons listed in Interpol databases, the absence of physical presence or residence requirements, the schemes’ short processing periods and the lack of systematic exchange of information with applicants’ countries of origin or of previous main residence, and warned the Government of Vanuatu of the possibility of the visa requirement being reinstated should those concerns not be addressed. The explanations provided by Vanuatu were not sufficient to alleviate those concerns.



Consequently, the application of the Agreement was partially suspended by Council Decision (EU) 2022/366 (3). The suspension is limited to ordinary passports issued by Vanuatu as from 25 May 2015, when the number of successful applicants under Vanuatu’s investor citizenship schemes started to increase significantly.



Whilst Decision (EU) 2022/366 partially suspended the Agreement, it was also necessary to provide for suspension at the level of Union law. Therefore, based on Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), on 27 April 2022 the Commission adopted Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/693 (5) temporary suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of Vanuatu holding ordinary passports issued by Vanuatu as from...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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