Roundtable on ‘Visa Liberalisation Process in Kosovo: Where are we now?’

May 18, 2015

The Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a Roundtable on 18 May 2015, to present a Policy Analysis entitled ‘Visa liberalisation and the Way Forward: Suggestions for a Strategic Approach to the Political Dialogue with Brussels’. Panelists included the Deputy Minister of European Integration, Head of EU Integration Section from the EU Office in Kosovo, experts of the visa liberalisation process and civil society.This roundtable analyzed the dynamics of achievements of Kosovo institutions in meeting the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap benchmarks so far. Furthermore, the debate was focused on the importance of undertaking necessary reforms for the successful completion of the process within the shortest possible period, so that the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo will benefit from visa-free movement in the Schengen Zone.

The Policy Analysis presented during the Roundtable examined the peculiarities of Kosovo’s visa liberalisation process and subsequent issues. It also presented recommendations for the government on the way forward and how to effectively implement a strategy that would assist in reaching the goal of visa liberalisation.

During the Roundtable, panelists shared their opinions on the visa liberalisation process of Kosovo, the criteria that remain unfulfilled, the progress achieved and specific benchmarks of the Roadmap that remain a challenge. In addition, the panelists discussed the areas in which the Government of Kosovo should show more commitment, such as Block III on Public Order and Security, which includes the fight against organized crime and corruption.

The Deputy Minister of European Integration in Kosovo, Mr. Ramadan Ilazi, emphasized that the government is fully committed to a dynamic agenda in fulfilling the remaining criteria deriving from the Roadmap. The report is expected to be delivered by June 2015, and Kosovo expects a positive assessment from European Commission.

Mr. Thomas Gnocchi, the Head of Economic, Politic and EU Integration Section at the EU Office in Kosovo, said that the European Union is waiting the report to be delivered from Kosovo and that it depends on the evaluation experts to determine whether or not the process is positive. Furthermore, Mr. Gnocchi said that Kosovo Government and all responsible institutions must be very committed to fulfilling the remaining criteria, especially when it comes to fight against corruption and organized crimes. Ms. Ebba Lekvall, the author of the Policy Analysis from GLPS, stated that the Analysis offers a set of recommendations for the Government of Kosovo and that the Government should strongly commit to fulfilling the remaining criteria of the Roadmap in a timely manner. Other experts of the process agreed that the path towards visa liberalisation requires a dynamic and proactive approach towards the fulfillment of criteria from all of the institutions responsible for the process.To access the report, please click here.

 Panelists in attendance:

  1. Mr. Ramadan Ilazi – Deputy Minister, Ministry of European Integration;
  2. Mr. Thomas Gnocchi – Head of Political, Economic and European Integration Section, European Union Office in Kosovo;
  3. Ms. Besa Shahini – Senior Analyst, European Initiative for Stability;
  4. Ms. Albana Merja – Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies;
  5. Ms. Ebba Lekvall – Author of the Analysis, Group for Legal and Political Studies;

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel – Diamond Club Hall (Square ‘Mother Theresa’ )

Share article

Latest Publications

Related Espresso Insights

June 14, 2024


The One Year Anniversary of EU Measures against Kosova


March 4, 2024


Passport Hangover: What’s next after Spain’s Kosovo breakthrough?