Mass migration and demarcation with Montenegro may threaten the visa liberalization regime

Mass migration and demarcation with Montenegro may threaten the visa liberalization regime

Pristina, 25 January 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Massive migration by Kosovars and the prolongation of the border demarcation process with Montenegro may act as an obstacle for the process of the visa liberalization regime.

This was declared today by the minister for European integration, Bekim Collaku while reporting on this issue before the parliamentary committee for European Integration.

“Liberalization of visas may be threatened if there’s still mass migration from Kosovo. Also, this process will be at risk if the ratification of demarcation with Montenegro will not be done until summer of this year”, Collaku declared.

European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos is expected to visit Kosovo in the second half of February.

According to minister Collaku, this visit will not only be symbolic, but also a working visit, which he hopes it will result in the agreement that Kosovo has now delivered the liberalization criteria.

“There will not be a recommendation until the end of January and even before the visit of the European commissioner. The commissioner is expected to visit Kosovo at the second half of February, which is ideal if the recommendation is given in March. But we must not be very enthusiastic on time lines because they do not depend on us”, Collaku said.

Collaku said that Kosovo continues to be treated en bloc with Georgia and Ukraine, which are also expecting the recommendation.

Ilir Deda MP proposed a joint plan for visits in several capitals, in order to help this process.

At the December of 2015, the European Commission issued a report on Kosovo where out of 95 criteria that the guideline had, Kosovo had delivered 87, while eight of them were required to have more commitment and be completed in order for Kosovo to be recommended for the visa liberalization regime.

Last week, Kosovo sent the last report to the commission, regarding the eight required criteria. Now, the country is expecting the EU to deliberate the report and decide on a date for the liberalization of visas for the citizens of Kosovo. /ibna/