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07 Jul 2016

European Parliament in favour of lifting visa restrictions for Georgia, Kosovo and Ukraine

Romania and Bulgaria Qualify to Join Schengen AreaThe European Parliament urged the lifting of visas restrictions for three EU neighbouring countries, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo.

There were three separate votes, one for each country, and the Foreign Affairs MEP voted in favour of visas liberalisation in all the three cases. This will be a great step to foster cooperation and exchange between countries in the Western Balkan and Eastern Europe.

MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski appleauded Ukraine and the progress made since the violent protests of two years ago: “Ukraine has unquestionably and successfully met all benchmarks required to be granted visa-free regime as soon as possible and without any further delay”.

Visa liberalisation will be a good instrument to help Ukraine and fullfill its ambition of closer European ties. The same can be said for Georgia, another country whose enthusiasm for the EU and the Western world generated trouble with Russia and the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“Establishment of visa-free regime between the EU and Georgia is a very important signal to the citizens of Georgia. The Georgian government and society have done the great job and now must see the results”, said MEP Andrejs Mamikins.

As for Kosovo, the small Balkan state should think of it as a prized asset but also an obligation to improve relationship with neighbouring countries and ensure the necessary steps to became a more functional state.

This is also the view of MEP Ulrike Lunacek:  “Kosovo politicians hold the key for visa liberalisation in their hands: they need to ratify border agreement with Montenegro and to deliver further progress on the track record of high level convictions for corruption and organized crime.”

After the summer, a proposal to lift visa restrictions will be voted in the European Parliament.

Source: neweurope

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