Kosovo: Great hopes for the liberalization of visas

Kosovo: Great hopes for the liberalization of visas

After the ratification of the demarcation agreement with Montenegro, Kosovo leaders are demanding from the EU to start the procedures for the liberalization of visas.

Following a meeting in Brussels with the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci spoke with optimism about this process.

“Kosovo has delivered all the criteria for the liberalization of visas. I just had a meeting with the EU Enlargement Commissioner in Brussels. It was a productive meeting. After ratifying the demarcation agreement with Montenegro, institutions of Kosovo have delivered all the criteria needed for the liberalization of visas. Now it’s the European Union’s turn to finalize the procedures needed to enable citizens of Kosovo to move freely”, the president of Kosovo said.

The special rapporteur of the European Parliament for Kosovo, Igor Soltes, is also expecting the liberalization of visas to happen now that the demarcation agreement was ratified.

“By this decision a very important and big step towards visa liberalization has been made and free movement of people, one of the main principles of the EU, can now become a reality. It is high time that Kosovo citizens enjoy the same opportunities and get the same treatment as its neighbours. If only few months ago looked like this step will be very difficult to achieve, it was now proved that wisdom and responsibility have prevailed,” Soltes said.

Professor of European Law, Avni Mazrreku told IBNA that the process for the liberalization of visas requires time, because EU institutions need to coordinate and finalize this process.

“The European Parliament has always been in favour of the liberalization of visas. Kosovo’s problems are with the Council of the European Union, because the council is the one that takes the decision for the lifting of the visas”, Mazrreku says.

Kosovo is the only country in the region, the citizens of which need to obtain a visa to travel to the EU countries. /balkaneu.com/