The European Commission said Wednesday that Kosovo has met the two outstanding visa liberalization requirements on the ratification of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro and a strengthened track record in the fight against crime and corruption, thus fulfilling all benchmarks set out in the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap.
In May 2016, the Commission proposed to the European Parliament and the Council to grant EU visa-free travel for the people of Kosovo, on the understanding that the 2 requirements would be met by the time of the adoption of the proposal. The Commission now encourages the European Parliament and the Council to move forward on its proposal.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “Kosovo has made great progress over the last two years to fulfil the two remaining visa liberalisation requirements. Today, we can confirm that both outstanding benchmarks have now been met, and that all other benchmarks continue to be met. I also count on Kosovo to continue addressing both migration and security challenges, including the fight against corruption. I now call on the European Parliament and the Council to swiftly adopt our proposal on lifting visa requirements for Kosovo citizens. This will be an important moment for Kosovo, for the entire Western Balkan region, and for Europe as a whole.”
Since the launch of the visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo in 2012, the Commission has continuously monitored the fulfillment of the requirements contained in the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap.
The report also confirms that Kosovo continues to fulfill all other benchmarks set out in the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap relating to readmission and reintegration, document security, migration and border management, public order and security, and fundamental rights related to the freedom of movement.
The Commission’s proposal from May 4, 2016 to lift the visa requirements for Kosovo citizens now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of all requirements set out in the visa liberalisation roadmap. Once visa-liberalisation is adopted for Kosovo, the Commission will further monitor the continuous implementation of the requirements through the visa suspension mechanism and the Stabilisation and Association process.