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EU Appoints Rapporteur to Spearhead Visa Abolition Efforts for Serbian Passport Holders in Kosovo


The European Parliament Home Affairs Committee has appointed Matjaž Nemec as a rapporteur for visa abolition for Serbian passport holders in Kosovo.

Such a decision was confirmed by EU representative Matjaž Nemec in his X account (former Twitter), SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The EP’s Home Affairs Committee has officially appointed me as the rapporteur for the abolition of visas for Kosovo Serbs, who are holders of special passports and are the only ones in the Western Balkans who need a visa to travel to the EU. I hope for a quick acceptance!

Matjaž Nemec, Member of the European Parliament

As of January 1 of this year, Kosovo passport holders have been granted visa-free travel to Schengen zone member states, including Romania and Bulgaria, which will join Schengen on March 31, as well as non-Schengen EU Member Cyprus.

Regarding the visa-free policy, last November, the European Commission proposed to include citizens of Kosovo holding passports issued in Belgrade.

With the entry into force of the visa exemption for Kosovo passport holders, the Commission considers that the reasons behind the exclusion of holders of Serbian passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate from that visa exemption no longer exist and that all citizens of the Western Balkan region should benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen area.

The European Commission

Following the EU proposal, Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi stated back then that the Government of the Republic of Kosovo was not consulted or informed about it.

Besnik Bislimi said that the passports issued by the Coordination Center of Serbia see Kosovo’s municipalities as part of the jurisdiction of Serbia, which, according to him, violates Kosovo’s sovereignty and is unacceptable.

The recognition of these documents undermines the integration of the Serbian community, damaging our efforts in which we have been engaged together for years.

Besnik Bislimi, Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister

He further added that the Serbian community can be equipped with Kosovo’s passport and travel visa-free in the Schengen zone.

NGOs Opposed EC’s Proposal Allowing Visa-Free Access for Kosovo Citizens with Serbian Passports

Regarding this issue, over 20 civil society organisations in Kosovo have expressed concerns about the European Commission’s proposal to abolish visa requirements for citizens of Kosovo holding passports issued in Serbia.

According to their statement, such a decision would pose a significant challenge to the integration of Serbian citizens in Kosovo through the issuance of Kosovo documents, particularly with the recent mass provision of Kosovo passports.

The proposal will seriously challenge the progress in the integration of Kosovo Serb citizens through the provision of Kosovo documents, manifested, among other things, through the massive provision of Kosovo passports during the last weeks.

Kosovo’s organisations’ letter

At present, Kosovo’s passport ranks 97th, according to the VisaGuide Passport Index. Citizens holding Kosovo passports can travel visa-free to 47 countries, passport-free to four neighbouring countries, and are granted visas upon arrival in 23 countries.

On the other hand, Kosovo passport holders are required to have a visa to travel to 114 other countries worldwide.

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