The so-called Kosovo gets the "green light" for visa liberalization?

European Commission confirmed the recommendation to abolish visa regime for Kosovo citizens. They assessed that the 2018 recommendation remains "fully valid".

Source: RFE
Hybrid Gfx/ Shutterstock/ Ilustracija
Hybrid Gfx/ Shutterstock/ Ilustracija

The European Commission confirmed the recommendation to abolish the visa regime for citizens of Kosovo. They assessed that the recommendation, which dates back to 2018, remains "fully valid".

It is a key document that will be the basis for making a decision on visa liberalization for Kosovo at the level of the member states of the European Union.

According to the document, which Radio Free Europe has access to, Kosovo has established a strong legal and operational framework for fighting corruption, organized crime and dealing with migration and security risks.

"Kosovo continued to consolidate progress in key areas identified in the liberalization roadmap. Consequently, the basis for the Commission's 2018 recommendation to exempt Kosovo nationals from the short-stay visa requirement remains fully valid," the European Commission's document states.

The legislative procedures that would lead to the decision to abolish the visa regime formally begin on October 13, when the working group on visas will gather and start the first discussion on this issue. In 2012, Kosovo received a Roadmap for visa liberalization. Then, in 2018, the European Commission confirmed that the country had met all the criteria for the abolition of the visa regime.

The European Parliament, one of the two institutions that decide on this, has voted for visa liberalization for Kosovo on several occasions. For years, the issue encountered a deadlock at the political level, that is, in the EU Council of Ministers, which makes the final decision, due to insufficient political will to continue the process.

According to the procedures in European institutions, after the European Commission recommends visa liberalization for a country, the decision-making process is conducted on two tracks: at the level of the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. Kosovo is the only country in the Western Balkans whose citizens do not enjoy freedom of movement in the Schengen zone.

Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia have had visa liberalization since December 2009, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania got it a year later, in December 2010.


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