Germany continues to support visa liberalisation for Kosovo, which will take place on January 1, 2024.
The German Federal Government confirmed for Express Newspaper that Berlin’s position remains unchanged.
“The German position remains unchanged: We support the decisions on the liberalisation of visas that belong to the Council of the European Union”, a spokesperson from the German Government told Express Newspaper.
In April this year, the European Union adopted visa-free travel for Kosovo, stressing that holders of Kosovo’s passport would be able to travel without visas from next year at the latest.
However, recently, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that his country might review its commitments on political and economic issues of visas for Kosovo and Serbia if they do not behave responsibly.
“France and Germany have made their promises on visa policies and other economic issues, which will be reviewed if both parties do not behave responsibly. We must be very careful in this regard, especially when the stability of the Western Balkans is at risk”, Macron pointed out.
However, France’s comments have also been opposed by the Rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon, and Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani, among others.
Stressing that Kosovo’s citizens should be allowed to travel visa-free starting from next year, von Cramon said that the visa liberalisation process is not and should not be linked to the dialogue with Serbia.
“We want to be crystal clear- visa-free travel is not and should not be linked to the Dialogue with Serbia; EU has to keep its promise allowing the citizens of Kosovo to travel freely as of January 1, 2024,” von Cramon wrote on her Twitter account.
In response to Macron’s comments, the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, said that any suspension of visa-free travel to the EU for Kosovo would “kill the dialogue with Serbia once and for all”, stressing that such measures are against the people.
Citizens of Kosovo have waited for more than ten years to travel to EU countries without being required to follow visa requirements; however, such a process has not been finalised yet, in spite of the fact that in 2018, the European Commission estimated that the country met all the needed requirements.
However, based on the Passport Index of VisaGuide.World currently, holders of Kosovo’s passports are eligible to travel visa-free to just 15 countries.