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19 Dec 2018

EU Commissioner Avramopoulos Says Kosovo Fulfilled All Visa Liberalization Criteria

Dimitris AvramopoulosThe EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos has confirmed today, once again, that Kosovo has fulfilled all visa liberalization benchmarks. After the presentation of EU Commission’s annual report on the fulfilment of the visa liberalization benchmarks by the Western Balkan countries, Avramopoulos has also urged Kosovo to do more on fighting organized crime and corruption.

“I can confirm that Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization benchmarks. After vote of the European Parliament now it is with the EU member countries to decide,” Avramopoulos said.

Recently, Kosovo leaders have accused the EU for delaying Visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens, and “not keeping their word.” Kosovo’s Primer Ramush Haradinaj said that the country feels betrayed by the European Union in a speech he made in Brussels on Monday.

According to RFE/RL, EU Officials and diplomats have told to the medium in condition of anonymity, that some EU member states are reluctant on granting the visa-free benefit to Pristina before the EU Parliament elections in May next year.

EU Urges WB Countries and Eastern Partnership to Make Further Efforts to Curb Irregular Migration

European Union Commission presented today its report on how Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia as well as the Eastern Partnership countries: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, are doing regarding visa free travel.

The report concludes these countries continue to meet the visa liberalization requirements. However, it asserts that further efforts are needed to improve and ensure sustainable results in order to address irregular migration.

Commissioner Avramopoulos said in front of participants that visa free travel with the Western Balkan and Eastern European partners is a great achievement that brings benefits for both sides.

“It also comes with responsibilities and obligations. I welcome that all concerned countries continue to fulfil their obligations, but call for swift and enhanced efforts to continue curbing irregular migration, and fighting corruption and organized crime,” he pointed out.

The Commission will continue to monitor the continuous work of these countries in the fulfilment of the visa liberalization requirements and will report to the European Parliament and the Council at least once a year.

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