Immigration: German MP: There’s No Definitive Date for Kosovo Visa Liberalization

Immigration: German MP: There’s No Definitive Date for Kosovo Visa Liberalization

Did immigration issues drive us to Brexit? What is the word on the streets right now?

Kosovo visa-free travel German MP from the Christian Democratic Union party, Peter Beyer said during a visit in Kosovo, that Germany supports Kosovo visa liberalization, asserting that it is unjust for the newborn country to be the sole country in a region to which the Schengen member states apply the visa regime.

Though MP Beyer refused to give any definitive date on when Kosovars can travel visa-free to the Schengen area, he wished the country could get visa liberalization as a gift for Christmas, expressing his sorrow that Kosovo remains the only country in the region under the Schengen visa regime.

I always mentioned the visa liberalization of Kosovo in different meetings, because it is very unfair that only Kosovars do not have the possibility of free movement,” he said.

Beyer reiterated that Germany is only one of the EU member countries that need to give the green light to Kosovo, before visa liberalization takes place, including the ones that have not recognized Kosovo yet.

Germany is one of the most sincere states that supported Kosovo in its journey towards EU integration and especially visa liberalization. I know that there have often been promises and dates when visa liberalization will take place. From our side, there has never been a definitive date so far,” he said explaining that a working group will meet in the second half of September, to continue working towards Kosovo visa liberalization.

“[PM] Ramush has previously expressed the desire [for visa liberalization] to be before Christmas! I didn’t mention any dates, but it would be my wish to finish by then. But, please don’t quote me on that,” he said.

The European Commission confirmed Kosovo has met all visa liberalization criteria in July last year. In August, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) gave the green light for visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens. Later, in September, the European Parliament agreed to open talks on the abolition of visa regime for Kosovo.

Last time visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens was discussed at the EU’s highest bodies was in March this year, when the European Parliament once again confirmed its position on the issue. Now the council of ministers needs to agree to move Kosovo under the list of visa-free countries, in order to complete the process.

While many high EU officials and politicians from the Member States have voiced their concerns that visa liberalization is being delayed without a reason and that Kosovars are losing patience, some of the EU members still think Kosovo does not qualify for liberalization, despite of having met the criteria set.

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