Liberalization of visas, EU fact gathering mission arrives to Kosovo

Liberalization of visas, EU fact gathering mission arrives to Kosovo

Pristina, 17 March 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

A commission of experts from the EU member countries will start work on Thursday in Kosovo.

This fact gathering mission, which has now arrived to Pristina, will assess of the country has met the last 8 recommendations of the European Commission in the process of dialogue for the liberalization of visas.

The team will submit its findings to the EU Commissioner for Emigration and Home Affairs, Dimistris Avramopoulos, who has announced that he will visit Pristina in order to announce the final stance of the Commission in relation to this issue.

Minister of Integration, Bekim Collaku hopes that the new state will receive a positive report, which would enable Kosovo citizens to move freely and without visas in the Shenghen countries.

“My expectations are positive in relation to the report of the evaluating mission. In the past four years we have worked in order to meet all the criteria of the guidelines and Kosovo worked and achieved results in this process more than other countries that have benefited from this process”, minister Collaku said.

Collaku doesn’t offer any dates as to when Kosovo citizens will be able to travel freely to EU member countries.

Meanwhile,  experts of EU affairs are skeptic about this process.

Professor of European Law, Bardhyl Hasanpapaj told IBNA that there will be no visa liberalization without first delivering the eight conditions set out by the European Commission.

“Kosovo must show concrete results in the fight against corruption and organized crime. We must insure the independence of the Public Procurement Authority, ratify the demarcation agreement with Montenegro, repatriate people and also meet several other criteria. This is not an easy process like the government presents it. But I hope that there will be concessions that have also been made to other countries of the region”, Hasanpapaj said.

On 18 December 2015, the European Commission published the last report in the framework of the process of the liberalization of visas for the citizens of Kosovo. According to minister Collaku, out of a total of 95 criteria of the roadmap, 87 had been entirely delivered. /ibna/