German Foreign Minister Annalena Birbock said Kosovo had “done its part” in the visa liberalization process, and now it was up to the EU to do its part.
Barbuk’s remarks came during the meeting she held with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, during her visit to Kosovo, as part of her visit to the region, according to TheSchengen.com.
Barbuk and Kurti discussed the visa liberalization process as well as the process of Kosovo’s integration into the European Union, while Barbuk stressed that there is no “highway” to Europe.
“The European Union is a peace project and, above all, a community of values for the benefit of the people. This means that it applies to all people. A country that wants to belong to the EU must meet not only economic standards but also issues of democracy, rule of law and respect for international law; Those are the basic criteria… There are no fast tracks or fast mechanisms here,” Barbock noted.
In addition, the German minister stressed the importance of negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia in order to normalize relations between them.
Barbuk emphasized that in order for Kosovo to become a member of the European Union, the latter must first obtain the status of a candidate, stressing that even before that, the dialogue is with Serbia.
The Minister emphasized that her country supports the European Union and its Special Representative for Dialogue, Miroslav Lajac, in facilitating these talks.
The German Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister of Kosovo stressed, during a press conference, that they discussed the reforms implemented by the authorities in Kosovo in the field of rule of law and the fight against corruption, for which Germany has full support.
The German minister stressed that her country is the largest donor to Kosovo, while stressing that the new German government wants to expand contributions.
He thanked the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Berbuk, for its support over the years, as well as for its principled approach to the Western Balkans.
The visa liberalization process in Kosovo began on February 19, 2012, and has not yet been finalized, although in 2018, it is estimated that the country has met the last requirements for visa liberalization.
In addition, during the same year, the European Union Commission confirmed the fulfillment of all criteria related to the agreement on visa-free travel with the European Union; However, Kosovo is still waiting for visa requirements to be abolished so that its citizens can move freely within the bloc.
Regarding Kosovo’s integration into the European Union, European Parliament Member, Viola von Kramon, who also serves as Rapporteur for Kosovo, said the country has fulfilled the main requirements to become a member of the European Council. Her remarks came during a press conference on March 4.