Beta: EC draft report says Kosovo meets criteria for visa liberalization

NEWS 11.10.2022 22:44

The draft European Commission report on Kosovo reads that Kosovo has meet all the criteria for visa liberalization and welcomes Kosovo’s “unilateral” alignment with EU decisions regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The European Commission will publish on Wednesday its enlargement package along with separate reports for each of the countries in the process of European integration.

The section of the report that focuses on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia reads that the chief negotiators had regular meetings in the past period (12 months) and that there was one meeting between the leaders, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, which took place on August 18.

The report mentions the agreement reached on the energy road map for the implementation of energy agreements, and the one on travel with ID cards, but stresses the need for both sides’ commitment to reaching a comprehensive agreement on the normalization of relations.

The draft report is quoted as saying that Kosovo should engage in a more constructive way and make additional significant efforts to implement all agreements reached in the past, as well as to contribute to achieving a comprehensive, legally binding agreement for the normalization of relations with Serbia. Such an agreement is urgent and crucial in order to enable Kosovo and Serbia to make progress on their European path, reads the draft report.

The draft document says that Kosovo has maintained generally good relations with Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro, but that there has been a change in Kosovo’s formal relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, which does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and that they both maintain a strict visa regime.

The work of the Parliament continues to be negatively affected by the polarizing political atmosphere and the difficulties in achieving the necessary quorum for decision-making, in spite of the fact that the Government is based on a strong majority, reads the draft report.

The report says that certain progress has been made with the adoption of significant anti-corruption legislation, but that the implementation of the overall legal framework needs to be improved.

Limited progress had been made regarding organized crime, while the fight against organized crime in northern Kosovo is particularly challenging, says the report which describes the Kosovo judiciary as sluggish, inefficient and susceptible to undue influence.