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23 Jul 2018

The Timeline of the Long Road to EU Visa Liberalization for Kosovo

EC to propose visa liberalization for Kosovo todayKosovo remains the last of the Western Balkan countries that has not implemented visa-free regime with the EU yet. The ten-year-old country started its journey towards the much-sought-after visa liberalization years ago, alongside Georgia, the citizens of which have been freely moving across the Schengen Zone for a year now.

Frequent pledges by Kosovo politicians that visa liberalization would happen ‘very soon’, teargas at the Assembly and massive protests at the main Pristina squares were just some of the main features that characterized the process.

Now, the country is closer than ever to achieve the abolition of visa regime with the Schengen Member States.

The following timeline highlights the main events that have characterized this six-year long process.

START
  • Feb
      19, 2012

    February 19, 2012 - Beginning of Visa Liberalization Dialogue

    The European Commission started the process of visa liberalization for Kosovo. On the same day, EU Commissioner Malmström held bilateral meetings with Kosovo leaders in Pristina, including the PM, to launch the dialogue.

  • Jun
      14, 2012

    June 14, 2012 - EC hands Visa Roadmap to Kosovo Authorities

    Kosovo accepted the roadmap for visa liberalization, identifying all measures that Kosovo should adopt and implement to advance towards visa liberalization. The roadmap consisted of 95 benchmarks that had to be met in order for visa requirements for Kosovo citizens to be removed.

  • Mar
      12, 2013

    March 12, 2013 - First Visa Liberalization Report

    Commission presented the first report on the progress achieved by Kosovo in fulfilling the requirements of the visa liberalization roadmap. Its main highlight was that though Kosovo had made progress, it still had a limited capacity to fight crime and corruption.

  • Jul
      24, 2014

    July 24, 2014 - Second Visa Liberalization Report

    EC presented its second report on the progress of Kosovo on the fulfillment of requirements on visa liberalization. According to the report, Kosovo made good progress but further efforts were required for visa-free regime for Kosovo passport holders, concluding that lifting the visa obligation for Kosovo citizens carried certain security and migratory risks for the EU.

  • Dec
      18, 2015

    December 18, 2015 - Third Visa Liberalization Report

    The European Commission adopted the third report on Kosovo’s progress in the fulfillment of visa liberalization requirements, evaluating that only eight outstanding requirements remained, and assuring that upon their fulfillment the Commission would propose to lift visa regime for Kosovo.

  • May
      4, 2016

    May 4, 2016 - Final Visa Liberalization Report

    The EC proposed to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to remove visa requirements for Kosovo citizens, upon the fulfillment of the last two benchmarks – ratification of demarcation agreement with Montenegro by Kosovo parliaments and fighting of corruption.

  • Sep
      5, 2016

    September 5, 2016 - EP Committee LIBE recommends visa liberalization for Kosovo

    The European Parliament Committee LIBE recommended visa liberalization for Kosovo, but voted against the initiation of negotiations before the country fulfills two remaining criteria, including the approval of border demarcation agreement with Montenegro.

  • Mar
      21, 2018

    March 21, 2018 - Kosovo ratifies of demarcation agreement with Montenegro

    Kosovo finally ratifies the long delayed border agreement with Montenegro, after two years of tear-gas thrown by opposition at the Parliament and massive protests including violent ones, when 80 of the 120 MPs in parliament voted in favor of the deal.

  • Apr
      17, 2018

    April 17, 2018 - European commission publishes Kosovo* 2018 Report

    The Commission confirms in its Kosovo* 2018 Report that Kosovo has fulfilled the last requirement of the visa liberalization roadmap, which was fighting corruption. The report showed that Kosovo authorities established and strengthened a steady track record of investigations and final court rulings in cases concerning organized crime and corruption, thus successfully meeting the final benchmark.

  • Jul
      18, 2018

    July 18, 2018 - Commission confirms Kosovo has fulfilled all requirements

    The European Commission gave a positive recommendation on visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens, re-confirming that Kosovo has met the two outstanding visa liberalization requirements. On the same day Commissioner Avramopoulos called on the European Parliament and the Council to swiftly adopt Commission’s proposal on lifting visa requirements for Kosovo citizens.

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