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09 Oct 2018

McAllister: Kosovo deserves visa liberalization

McAllister: Kosovo deserves visa liberalization

The Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee and Parliament’s Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister claims that Kosovo citizens deserve visa liberalization, since their institutions worked hard to fulfill all criteria.

McAllister said so during a visit he paid in the Kosovo capital Pristina, throughout the weekend, during which he also met with the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.

“Kosovo institutions worked hard to fulfill all the criteria and now is the time for visa liberalization to take place,” McAllister said among others, adding that several member states still have their doubts on the issue.

“There are some doubts in several EU members, including France and my home country Germany, but I am aware that expectations in Kosovo are high,” McAllister said, urging Kosovo leaders that it is time to show the efforts Kosovo has made, to member states that have some worries in this regard.

McAllister also touched the issue of EU enlargement into the Balkans, claiming that the majority of European Parliament members support EU enlargement to “all six Western Balkan countries”, which, he assessed, have a European perspective.

Kosovo is now in its last steps towards visa liberalization for its citizens. The country started the visa liberalization dialogue on February 19, 2012. It only took a positive recommendation by the European Commission more than six years after on July 18, 2018, after it met the two outstanding requirements from the Visa liberalization roadmap.

Whereas, on August 30, 2018 the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) gave the green light for visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens. Later, on September 13, 2018, the European Parliament agreed to open talks on the abolition of visa regime for Kosovo, the last country in the region, which remains isolated.

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