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Apr 01, 2014

Pearle* welcomes the European Commission?s proposal on the new visa package

(Brussels, 1st April 2014) Pearle*-Live Performance Europe, the European association which represents through its members the interests of more than 5000 theatres, theatre production companies, orchestras and music ensembles, opera houses, ballet and dance companies, festivals, producers, comedy, variété, circus and other organisations, welcomes the visa package launched today by Commissioners Malmström and Tajani.

'For the past ten years, Pearle* has addressed problems and hindrances faced by live performance organisations when engaging third-country nationals who need a visa to travel to and tour in the Schengen zone. The proposed changes to the rules and in particular the introduction of a new touring visa shall bring greater security to the live performance sector when planning longer tours or extending them when opportunities arise, thereby reaching wider audiences.' says President of Pearle, Catherine Baumann.

Past research and surveys amongst employers, organisers or promoters, demonstrated that apart from the administrative burdens, lengthy procedures, or unclear rules, there is a significant element of risk related to inviting third-country national artists or groups to take part in a production or perform in a venue or festival, due to the potential non-issuance of a Schengen visa. The result has been disappointed audiences, as well as an economic loss in terms of investments made. The new proposed changes in the visa rules, in particular the introduction of the multiple entry visa, are a promising improvement to solving various problems that the live performance sector has faced in the past.

Pearle* looks forward to a fast adoption process by the European Parliament and Council, so that the sector will be able to better maximize its potential as a contributor to jobs and growth in the EU.

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