EU to Pristina: Tackle crime first, then lose visas

Pristina will receive visa liberalization when it tackles organized crime and corruption, Pristina-based newspaper Zeri has been told in Brussels.

Source: Tanjug
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(EPA, file, illustration)
(EPA, file, illustration)

The Albanian language daily recalls that representatives of provisional institutions had promised EU would liberalize its visa regime for Kosovo "certainly last year - but that did not happen."

Earlier in the day, Zeri reported that "Kosovo citizens are complaining that embassies of EU member-states have been tightening the criteria for issuing visas, and they're often issued only for a period of 24 hours, with journalists being no exception."

It was also noted that at the same time representatives of temporary Pristina institutions whose responsibility is to ensure visa-free regime for Kosovo citizens have no problem obtaining visas.

The message from Brussels, however, is that, although the European Commission previously stated that Pristina had met all conditions for obtaining visa liberalization, the temporary Pristina institutions would still have to deal with the fight against organized crime and corruption.

"In July 2018, the Commission confirmed that Kosovo had met all visa liberalization standards, including two previous requirements: ratification of the demarcation agreement with Montenegro and the strengthening of work in the fight against organized crime and corruption. Kosovo has made significant progress in for the past two years, and it is important to continue implementing all standards," Zeri has been told in Brussels.

Also, it is stated that it is now up to the European Parliament and the EU Council to approve the Commission's proposal for granting visa-free travel for Kosovo.

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