European Union

Everything You Need to Know About ETIAS

As one would assume, there are a lot of countries whose citizens are not part of the European Union. However, despite not being part of the EU, these citizens can enter the Schengen Zone without needing a visa. Out of all the non – EU countries, currently, there are 61 which do not require its citizen’s visa’s in order to travel to members of the European Union.

These citizens can stay up to 90 days for either business or travel purposes, but they are not allowed to do any kind of work or study for the duration of their stay. Those who travel can engage in tourism and business, but any breach of the above-mentioned rules could mean instant deportation.

Because of the immigrant crises, the European Union members have been calling for a new and better system that will control who enters the European Union. While the first goal of the European Union is to improve the travel experience between their members, the procedures and time spent waiting has been frustrating.

Recently, a new system has been proposed. This system will eliminate waiting time, reduce the lengthy procedures, and address all the security concerns. This new system has been called ETIAS.

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What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it is a fully electronic system that will keep track of visitors going in and out of the Schengen Zone. It will be applied to citizens of those 61 countries that are not part of the EU but do not require a visa to enter their members. It closely resembles the ESTA system deployed by the United States, and it’s expected to be fully operational by 2021.

The ETIAS will be used to undergo a detailed security check of everyone who wishes to enter the Schengen Zone. This security check will then determine if the applicant can be allowed to enter the Schengen Zone. Since applicants from those 61 countries can only stay for 90 days for business and travel purposes, the ETIAS will be trusted to screen the applicants and determine whether they are a threat or not. The ETIAS system can gather, store, and update any necessary information of applicants to further make it safe for the members of the Schengen Zone.

The ETIAS will also be used by applicants for medical and transit reasons. This system will be mandatory for all countries who are Schengen visa-free and it will take effect as late as 2021.

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What ETIAS looks to Solve?

The ETIAS looks to solve the ever-growing security concerns amid the immigrant crisis and everything that comes with it. As the president of the EC (European Commission) Jean-Claude Juncker stated, “We will know who travels to Europe before they even get here.”

The EITAS system promises to keep the members of the EU safe from any potential threats, but can also assist EU countries in a few other ways:

  • ETIAS will reduce procedures and application times
  • ETIAS will improve the management of EU borders
  • ETIAS will assist in detecting crime and threats of terror
  • ETIAS will improve irregular migration
  • EITAS will reinforce the visa liberation policies set in place by the EU
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All in all, the ETIAS system will make traveling the EU less of a hassle and safer for both the people who are traveling and the members of the European Union.

EU tariffs on US goods start on Friday


The implementation of tariffs on €2.8 billion of United States exports to the European Union starts on Friday. Some of the goods affected are orange juice, motorcycles, and bourbon whiskey.

European Commission imposed duties of the U.S. products after President Donald Trump announced that steel exports to America would be taxed with additional 25% and aluminum with 10%. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker lamented that the U.S. tariffs go against “all logic and history” and added that “we will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard” the EU, in his speech to Irish Parliament in Dublin.

President Trump justified the tariffs by pointing out the oversupply of steel and aluminum coming from China that threatens domestic producers. Taxes went in effect on June 1st and mostly affect America’s closest allies, like Canada, EU, Mexico, and India.

Some countries, like South Korea, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, have relented under tariff threat from Washington and agreed to limit their steel and aluminum exports to the United States. Other have decided to impose retaliatory tariffs on American imports. Canada has placed C$16.6bn of the U.S. goods under tariffs, while Mexico has done the same for $3bn worth of American products.

India also imposed tariffs in place for steel and iron products and a range of agricultural products, like walnut, almonds, and chickpeas.

According to Trump, America’s trade partners are taking advantage of it by running a large trade surplus. American deficit has grown to about $50 billion in 2017, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. POTUS, however, claims that it is.

“Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore. We must put the American worker first!” he tweeted on June 11th.

Trump is especially rattled with a huge deficit his country has with China and has threatened to place tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports unless Beijing starts to address the issue of trade deficit. China says that Trump is acting with “extreme pressure and blackmail” and said it would respond with “strong counter-measures,” going as far as to accuse him of racist motivation.

Despite Trump’s claims that tariffs won’t affect the population, experts don’t agree. Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, suggests that an average American family of four will spend additional $500 per year on these items because of the tariffs. It will also negatively affect the U.S. manufacturers that export their goods because their partners will likely seek alternative sources once American products go up in price due to retaliatory tariffs. In short, the taxes dispute has every ingredient needed for a trade war that will shake the global economy.


Donald Trump Endangers Middle East By Leaving Iran Deal


Donald Trump violated Iranian nuclear deal, and there will be consequences. Imposing Iran with sanctions once again will provoke a disaster. Maybe not an immediate one, but in the long run it will happen.

The decision to move away from the deal comes from America, or better say, from Trump. Their allies, UK, Germany, and France, stand on the Iranian side, as they do not want for the agreement to be scrapped. The leaders of these European countries are together on the claim that thanks to the deal the world is a safer place. What Donald Trump wants to do is to hurt Iran economically until they are ready to offer more as their part of the deal. If they accept new terms imposed by the US, the economic aid will continue.

When America re-imposes sanctions, Iranian oil industry, and banking system will be immediately affected. Previous sanctions almost destroyed their oil industry, but after the nuclear deal was signed their profits doubled. The US sanctions would downgrade Iran financially to that extent that Europe couldn’t make up for it.


A mini trade war?

What European leaders will try to do in the upcoming months, is to convince the US not to include European companies in sanctions. Or, they could pass laws that would protect European companies, and impose tariffs on US gold. This state of affairs would be regarded as a mini trade war. A small battle which could have a devastating effect on NATO.

At the moment Iran is ready to talk about the deal. But the time they are willing to dedicate to it measures in weeks. After the agreement is scrapped, they will continue to work with enriched uranium. Before the deal was signed this Middle East country intensely worked on components that could be used on creating nuclear weapons. There is fear that if the Iran deal is no more, they could once again start working on their nuclear program.

How sanction regimes leak

If any of the European countries decide to leave the deal in a manner that America did it, they will push Iran towards creating a nuclear arsenal. They would kick nuclear inspectors out of the country, and both US and Europe would lose oversight of their nuclear facilities. But, luckily, at the moment, America is the only signatory that has issues with Iran deal. China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, France, and Japan all buy oil from this country, so they probably will ensure that the agreement stands, at least for them. But disagreement between allies, and especially on a matter like this could have profound consequences.


Missiles are a sticking point

While Europe is working on the issues of Iran nuclear deal, they also have to think about their ballistic missile program. This country remains a crucial factor in the Middle East, and its role in the politics of this region is more important than ever. If they manage to arm those missiles with nuclear warheads, they will immediately become a world power. According to the agreement that is still in power, they will have right to continue nuclear development after 2025. From political and military standpoint this date is around the corner.


The final destination

The strategy that Trump is using is relying on the fact that even if deal falters, he will have enough time to bring Europeans to his side and to convince Iranians that the new agreement is necessary and that the financial troubles they will have are not worthy of their resistance.

Regarding the date of the expiration of the deal (2025) all, but Iran, agree that the ban on their nuclear program should be permanent. But the path Donald Trump is leading these negotiations is not the right one. Iran could immediately respond to his threats by continuing its nuclear program stating that they needed to because of US actions. At the moment, Iran deal is on the road to disaster.


Brexit – Who Wanted Out of the EU and Who Wanted to Stay?

Brexit is long behind us, and the people of Britain have voted. The GB will no longer be a part of the European Union even though it has been one of the integral states over the years. Perhaps now is the right time to see how the world was divided on this problem which was purely British.

The UK has had a special relationship with the United States for decades, and they wanted them to stay put. A lot of US businesspeople, CEOs and politicians believed that leaving the European Union would have major consequences on the country’s economy above all. And while Americans wanted the powerful EU with the UK inside, Moscow, some European radicals, and right French National Front leader wanted Britain out! All of them hoped that the UK exiting the EU would trigger a chain of events with the same outcome.

The Russians didn’t hide their views that they wanted to see Britain out. Before Brexit, Scots had a vote in 2014 for independence resolution, and the Russian media devoted a large amount of airtime to the affair. They did the same with Catalonia and Spain as well as Veneto region and Italy. It was obvious that Moscow wanted to see Europe divided and their take on the Brexit magnified the “Out” instead of being as objective as possible.

While Putin and the Russians had their reasons, the European nationalists prayed for the same outcome, but their motives were different. The fact is that the EU brought peace and prosperity to all nations on Old Continent and they considered that it could be abolished, maintaining the same freedoms. Of course, this could not happen suddenly, but with the UK out, it would mark a starting point and the first win for the European nationalists.

And it did mark the first victory. The people of Great Britain voted, and they wanted to step out of the EU. Now, some countries, as well as individuals and rightists from the UK and the other parts of the world, would benefit from the exit whereas the others would not. But the most important thing is that the British people are the one who decided without any outer influence. It is up to the Brits now to fix the issues in their yard.