The rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon, said that the visa waiver for Kosovo is not and should not be linked to the dialogue with Serbia.
Furthermore, she stressed that Kosovo citizens deserve the long-awaited visa liberalization, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We want to be very clear: the visa waiver is not and should not be linked to the dialogue with Serbia, the EU must keep its promise allowing citizens of Kosovo to travel freely from January 1, 2024. “ von Cramon wrote on his Twitter account.
His comments follow French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement that France could review the commitments it made on the political and economic issues of visas for Kosovo and Serbia if these countries did not behave responsibly .
“France and Germany have made their promises on visa policy and other economic issues, which will be revisited if both sides do not behave responsibly. We must be very careful in this regard, especially when the stability of the Western Balkans is threatened,” » underlined the French president.
Macron’s comments raised fears that the long-awaited process of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens, who have been waiting for visa-free travel to EU countries for more than a decade now, is under threat.
However, the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, said that any suspension of visa-free travel within the bloc for Kosovo would kill dialogue with Serbia once for all. Osmani considered that such measures are against the people.
At the same time, Dutch MEP Thjis Reuten said that regarding the entry into force of the future visa-free regime for Kosovo from next year, “we have not received any signal indicating that this process is in danger.
The European Union adopted the visa waiver for Kosovo in April this year, emphasizing that Kosovo passport holders will be able to travel visa-free from January 1 next year at the latest.
Kosovo is the last Western Balkan country not to have reached such an agreement with the EU.
The visa liberalization process began more than a decade ago, but it is still not finalized despite the fact that in 2018 the European Commission assessed that this Balkan country met all the necessary requirements.
Kosovo and Serbia aspire to become members of the European Union. However, Brussels has made it clear that the two Balkan states should resolve their dispute through a mediated dialogue in order for this process to succeed.