Visa liberalization procedures formally start on October 13

Liberalization of visas for Kosovo entered the agenda of the visa working group for the upcoming October 13 meeting.

From this date, it will be considered that the corresponding legislative procedures have officially begun, which will lead to the lifting of the visa regime for Kosovo.

The inclusion of the point of visa liberalization during October was announced by the Czech presidency in a letter sent to the member states of the European Union last week.

Kosovo has been waiting for this moment for more than ten years.

In 2012, Kosovo received the Roadmap for visa liberalization, while in 2018 the European Commission confirmed that the country met all the criteria and recommended the lifting of the visa regime.

The European Parliament, one of the two institutions that decide on this, has voted several times for the liberalization of visas for Kosovo.

For years, the issue has been stuck in the EU Council of Ministers, which takes the final decision, due to the insufficient political will of the EU member states to move the process forward.

According to the procedures in European institutions, after the European Commission recommends the liberalization of visas for a country, the decision-making process takes place on two tracks: at the level of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the EU.

The decision is taken by a qualified majority, which means the vote of 55 percent of the member states whose population represents 65 percent of the entire population of the EU.

Kosovo is the only country in the Western Balkans whose citizens do not enjoy free movement in European countries.

Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia enjoy visa liberalization since 2009, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania received liberalization in 2010.

Autor: RTK