MEPs call EU to lift visa restrictions for Kosovo

NEWS 06.07.2022 13:28
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Source: N1

The European Parliament adopted a report on Kosovo on Tuesday, with rapporteur Viola von Cramon calling the European Union to lift visa restrictions.

MEPs commended Kosovo’s increased political stability and strong commitment to its European path and reiterated their call on EU member states to proceed urgently with adopting a visa-free regime for the citizens of Kosovo,” a press release said adding that further delays would undermine the EU’s credibility and reputation as a reliable partner.

The report was adopted by 469 votes in favor, 96 against and with 72 abstentions.

“The report reconfirms Parliament’s unequivocal support for the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and reiterates the importance of achieving a comprehensive, legally binding normalisation agreement, which is crucial for Serbia and Kosovo to advance on their respective European paths and which will contribute to regional stability and prosperity,” it said.

It said that MEPs welcomed Kosovo’s alignment with the EU on sanctions against Russia and its strong solidarity with Ukraine. They stressed that the independence of Kosovo is irreversible and called on those EU countries that have not yet recognized the country to do so immediately, the press release said.

Von Cramon is quoted as saying that the vote shows Parliament’s strong commitment towards Kosovo’s EU integration and provides guidance as to how EU standards can be implemented. “Kosovo has continuously proven its commitment to advance on EU-related reforms and has positioned itself as a very reliable partner, deeply anchored in the European and transatlantic alliance. Unfortunately, the EU has failed to deliver on our own promise to provide long-overdue visa-free travel to the citizens of Kosovo. I really hope that this will be the last report that mentions this failure. As for the Council, and in this context I wish to address directly France and the Netherlands – the time to adopt the decision on visa liberalisation is now,” she said.