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EU: Kosovo’s Visa Liberalisation Process Should Be Treated as a Matter of Urgency

The latest report of the European Commission concluded that the visa liberalization process in Kosovo, which is still pending in the Council of the European Union, must be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

The report emphasized that Kosovo had met all visa liberalization criteria, as previously highlighted by the commission in July 2018, reports.

The latest report published by the European Union Commission also indicated that early parliamentary elections in Kosovo in February 2021 resulted in the formation of the new government. Therefore, the Commission urged the authorities in Kosovo to continue their work towards the completion of this process, among other matters that the authorities of the country should consider.

The report published by the Commission stressed that “the full and effective implementation of the reform action plan during the coming period will be necessary.”

The report also highlighted the current situation between Kosovo and Serbia and called for a comprehensive and legally binding normalization agreement between the two regions that would help both countries advance on their own EU tracks.

The Kosovo visa liberalization process started on February 19, 2012. However, the process has not yet been completed.

In 2018, Kosovo was estimated to have met the last two requirements for visa liberalization. Moreover, in July of the same year, the European Commission confirmed that all criteria regarding the visa-free travel agreement with the European Union have been met.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited the region recently, and the EU-Western Balkans Summit held on 6 October in Brdo Pree Krango in Slovenia while speaking on an important signal that the future of the Western Balkans lies in the EU.

“All the six Western Balkans partners have committed to creating a regional common market, based on the rules and standards of the European Union, and the focus should be on overcoming the difficulties they face in order to provide opportunities for this initiative to citizens and companies in the region and to maximize the “benefits of investments within the framework of the economic and investment plan,” as stated in the statement.

During the same summit, Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti urged the EU authorities to abolish the requirement to obtain a visa before traveling to the Schengen area for citizens of Kosovo, which remains the last country in the Western Balkans whose citizens need a visa in order to travel. to a borderless area.

In addition, Kurti said the delay regarding the visa liberalization process for her country was a huge injustice by the European Union.

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