Liberalization of visas hindered by the demarcation agreement with Montenegro

Liberalization of visas hindered by the demarcation agreement with Montenegro

Pristina, 13 May 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Ratification of the demarcation agreement with Montenegro is likely to delay the lifting of the visa regime for Kosovo.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos said that for the full approval of the proposal for the lifting of visas, Kosovo must ratify the Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro and boost its efficiency in the fight against corruption and organized crime.

According to him, the issue of illegal migration must be addressed and the EU has its own mechanisms for the temporary reintroduction of visas for a country, in case there’s a sudden and considerable influx of illegal migrants from that country.

In today’s government meeting, Prime Minister of Kosovo demanded for parliament to convene and ratify the demarcation agreement.

“There are two other conditions that we must deliver for the liberalization of visas. Ratification of the agreement with Montenegro must take place immediately in parliament. This is not an individual issue or an issue belonging to one political party and as such, it must be ratified”, the prime minister said.

Parliamentary speaker, Kadri Veseli says that demarcation with Montenegro shall not become an obstacle for the liberalization of the visa regime.

“We still haven’t introduced this issue on the agenda. Once we do, we will talk to our colleagues of the opposition, in order to proceed together. Decision making will uphold the country’s interests”, Veseli said.

Meanwhile, three opposition parties, Self Determination, AAK and Incentive for Kosovo have openly declared they will not ratify the agreement in question.

Professor of European Law, Llokman Murtezani says that the conditions set out by the European Commission must be delivered.

“Kosovo must show a greater commitment in its fight against corruption and proceed to parliament with the ratification of the agreement. The failure to deliver the criteria has its own consequences. It will not jeopardize the lifting of the visa regime for Kosovo, but it may delay it. Such delay will not be a good sign for all further developments of Kosovo in relation to the European agenda”, Murtezani says. /