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13 Sep 2018

European Parliament approves visa talks with Kosovo

European Parliament approves visa talks with Kosovo
The European Parliament has agreed today, on September 13, 2018, to open talks on the abolition of visa regime for Kosovo citizens. The approval came with 420 of the EP members voting pro the proposal and 186 against it.

The Minister of European Integration in the government of the Republic of Kosovo, Dhurata Hoxha, announced the approval on visa talks opening, through twitter.

“Good news! Following the request of European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, European Parliament voted for visa liberalization. Kosovo has received the gratitude for the work done by fulfilling all criteria to move freely, which we are just a step away from,” Hoxha tweeted, thanking all MEPs for voting.

Tanja Fajon, member of the Delegation for Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, and Kosovo rapporteur for visa liberalization, also wrote on twitter regarding the visa talks opening approval by EP.

“Kosovo citizens one step closer to visa-free travel for Europe. Happy to have received green light from European Parliament with a big majority for negotiations with EU Council on Visa Liberalization for Kosovo! Fight continues with EU governments, I shall not stop until we deliver!,” Tanja Fajon wrote on Twitter.

Only last month, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), voted pro-European Commission’s recommendation on visa liberalization for Kosovo. It also approved the opening of inter-institutional negotiations on the completion of the process, with 30 votes pro, ten against and two abstains.

Kosovo received a positive recommendation on visa liberalization on July this year, after years of attempts to fulfill all of the benchmarks set by the European Commission.

After the approval by the European Parliament on the proposal for the amendment of the regulation to move Kosovo under the Annex of visa free entities, the Council of Ministers will have to adapt the change of the regulation, by a qualified majority.

Editor’s Pick: The Timeline of the Long Road to EU Visa Liberalization for Kosovo

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