The European Union- Kosovo visa liberalisation agreement approved on Tuesday by the European Parliament has not been welcomed by all persons.
Despite the fact that the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said that she didn’t receive any proposal to reject the position of the Council and no amendment, the Chairperson for the Commission for European Integration of the Parliament of Serbia, Elvira Kovac, said that Kosovo is being rewarded while the European Union is punishing Serbia regarding the ongoing dialogue between both countries facilitated by the EU.
“One side receives a prize, while the other waits two years to open a cluster,” she pointed out.
The Foreign Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, said that Serbia is not against visa liberalisation for Kosovo; still, the Minister considered the period when the decision was taken as inappropriate, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Similar to Kovac, the Foreign Minister of Serbia considered the decision in this period as a reward.
Even though Dacic said that Serbia is not against visa liberalisation, he considered that “Kosovo does not fulfill any conditions for visa liberalisation.”
The much sought-after decision was celebrated in Kosovo. While welcoming the decision of the European Parliament, Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani also gave credit to the citizens of Kosovo regarding the issue.
“Today’s final decision on the liberalisation of visas for the citizens of Kosovo is a victory, not only for our country but for democracy itself and unity in Europe. This decision is the merit of the people of Kosovo, the unparalleled determination shown throughout the years, despite various delays and injustices,” Osmani said.
The agreement means that citizens of Kosovo will finally be eligible to enter European Union countries without being required to apply for a visa at first, starting next year.
Visa liberalisation for Kosovo started back in 2012, and even though the European Commission declared in 2016 that the country met all the needed conditions, the process was held over by the Council.
As a result of the delays in the visa liberalisation for Kosovo, holders of this country’s passport are only eligible to travel visa-free to just 15 countries.
In addition to easing the travel process for holders of Kosovo’s passport, the visa liberalisation will also quadruple the strength of this country’s passport.
Kosovo’s passport is ranked in the 196th position in the Passport Index of the VisaGuide.World, in which are ranked passports of 199 countries, taking into account the power of their passports.
The founder of SchengenVisaInfo.com, Besart Bajrami, previously said that in case of visa liberalisation, Kosovo would move from the 195th position to the 102nd, jumping by 93 positions.
Still, Bajrami emphasised that even though it would make significant progress in this Passport Index, the passport of Kosovo would remain at the bottom of the list compared to the passports of other Western Balkan countries.
According to Bajrami, the reason why Kosovo remains at the bottom of the list is the fact that a large number of countries still do not recognise the Republic of Kosovo as an independent country.
Source : Schengenvisa