Ballina Daily News Dozen EU countries oppose visa-free travel for Kosovo citizens

Dozen EU countries oppose visa-free travel for Kosovo citizens

More than 10 members of the European Union oppose visa liberalization for Kosovo Pristina’s newspaper Zeri quotes EU officials as saying at the recent meeting in Brussels. The paper deems the EU is unlikely to scrap visas this year.

In July, the European Commission noted that Kosovo has met all required benchmarks for its citizens to qualify for visa-free travel within Europe. But the proposal on visa liberalization for Kosovo must first be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council, where several EU member states remain skeptical. The European Commission noted in July that Pristina has fulfilled the last two remaining conditions to qualify – a strengthened record in the fight against corruption and organized crime, and the ratification in March of a border demarcation agreement with Montenegro.

Experts meanwhile warn that if the visa liberalization decision is not taken this year, Kosovo risks remaining with the visa regime until 2020. According to the paper, Romania, which does not recognize Kosovo, takes over EU presidency in January, is unlikely to make a push in favor of Kosovo.