Visa Liberalization Process in Kosovo: A prologue to achievements, challenges and needs

June 4, 2012

Authors

Albana Merja
EU Integration, rule of law, political parties and democratization

The question of admission of Kosovo to the visa-free regime has been marked as an issue of high priority, for both the government as well as for citizens of Kosovo. Among others, as a citizen of a country surrounded by states that are part of visa-free access to the Schengen area caused a feeling of isolation. When the European Union lunched the visa liberalization process for Western Balkan countries back in January 2008, Kosovo had not yet declared the independence and was not therefore invited to participate in the process. However, in its Communication on Kosovo of October 2009 the European Commission affirmed that “Kosovo citizens need to share further in the benefits of EU approximation, including the possibility to travel visa-free in the EU …. The Commission proposes to move forward with a structured approach to bring Kosovo’s citizens closer to the EU through a visa dialogue with the perspective of eventual visa liberalisation when the necessary reforms will have been undertaken.” Besides, in late 2009 the Council of the EU declared that Kosovo should also benefit from the perspective of visa liberalisation provided that it will properly meet the introductory standards. This consensus formula affirmed that twenty-seven EU Member States will act without prejudice to Member States’ positions on Kosovo status.

Policy Notes

Visa Liberalization Process in Kosovo: A prologue to achievements, challenges and needs

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