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Kosovo Visa Liberalisation Part of Next German Government’s Coalition Agreement

The issue of visa liberalization for Kosovo was included in the coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats of Germany that will form the new German government.

According to the European online newspaper Western Balkans, the coalition agreement between the three German parties will support, among other things, the European integration of the six countries in the Western Balkans, including visa liberalization for Kosovo.

“We support the European integration of the six countries of the Western Balkans and, in this sense, the necessary reforms to meet all the Copenhagen criteria,” the agreement reads.

The move comes after, last week, both Kosovo President Fjeza Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti called on EU institutions and officials to allow visa-free travel for Kosovo passport holders to the Schengen area after the country met all the criteria for obtaining a visa. Editing with the block.

During a visit to Canada, participating in the International Security Forum in Halifax, President Osmani met with German deputies Jürgen Hardt, Peter Beyer, Stefan Meyer and Rodrich Kiswetter, to whom she indicated that Kosovo needs Germany’s support, in particular, on the European track.

Among other things, it reiterated that Kosovo had already met the criteria for liberation and demanded that the European Union fulfill its promise to the citizens of Kosovo.

During a visit to Austria, Prime Minister Kurti also raised the same issue, insisting that Kosovo met all the criteria for visa liberalization and, in fact, “Kosovo met more criteria than other countries in the region,” in order for its citizens to be able to travel to the Schengen area without a visa. , which has not happened yet.

During a lecture in Vienna on “Kosovo, a glimmer of hope for democracy in Southeast Europe,” Kurti said he not only expects visas to be liberalized soon, but also expects Austria to help Kosovo gain recognition from the five EU countries that we still do not accept. The fact that Kosovo is independent. These countries are Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Slovakia.

Austria should help us with the five countries that have not recognized Kosovo. Also, liberalization of visas for Kosovo. 95 of the criteria were met, which is more than Albania, North Macedonia or Serbia.

Kosovo’s leaders are not the only ones pushing for a solution to the issue of visa liberalization for Kosovar citizens, as the EU Commission urged the EU Council to take action on the issue at the end of last October.

In a report, the commission concluded that Kosovo had met all criteria for visa liberalization, as the commission had previously explained in July 2018.

Kosovo began its journey towards visa liberalization on February 19, 2012. In 2018, the European Union Commission and Parliament agreed that Kosovo had fulfilled the last two conditions for visa liberalization. However, the EU Council has not yet endorsed the agreement.

The main obstacle between Kosovar citizens and visa-free trips to the Schengen area remains the opposition of France and the Netherlands, as both countries’ governments fear a possible influx of migrants from the country once visa liberalization takes place.

>> Timeline for the long road to EU visa liberalization for Kosovo

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