The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, has said that any suspension of visa-free travel to the European Union for Kosovo would “kill the dialogue with Serbia once and for all.
“That would be the most efficient method to kill the dialogue once and for all. Such measures … are against the people,” Osmani told journalists.
Her comments came as a response to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who recently said that his country might review the commitments it has made 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.
In April this year, the European Union adopted visa-free travel for Kosovo, thus emphasising that the holders of Kosovo’s passport would be eligible to travel without visa requirements from January 1, 2024, at the latest.
Kosovo was the last country in the Western Balkans not to have such an agreement with the bloc.
The visa liberalization process for Kosovo started more than ten years ago. In 2018, the European Commission estimated that the country met all the needed conditions for this process to be finalised. However, at present, holders of Kosovo’s passport are only eligible to travel visa-free to 15 countries, based on the estimations of the Passport Index of VisaGuide.World.
Both Kosovo and Serbia aspire to become part of the European Union. However, Brussels has said that both countries should solve their dispute through a mediated dialogue to finalise this process.
Kosovo officially applied for EU Membership on December 14 last year. In the signing ceremony participated Kosovo’s President, Vjosa Osmani, the country’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, and the Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, Gluk Konjufca, with Kosovo’s President, stressing such a decision a step to bring Kosovo closer to the European Union.
In December last year, Kosovo’s Prime Minister said that the country took all the needed steps to apply for the status of a candidate country in the EU while noting that the Balkan country would soon submit its application.
The first deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo in charge of European integration, Besnik Bislimi, told Politico that the country could become part of the bloc by 2030.