Immigration: Kosovo Minister: France and the Netherlands Have Blocked Visa Liberalization for Kosovo

Immigration: Kosovo Minister: France and the Netherlands Have Blocked Visa Liberalization for Kosovo

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Dhurata Hoxha

The Kosovo Minister for European Integrations Dhurata Hoxha has pointed fingers at France and the Netherlands, as the two main countries blocking Kosovo visa liberalization.

The Minister, who has finally given up on her frequent statements that visa liberalization would happen “next month“, said in an interview for a local media that she is disappointed with the European Union, as the Council of Ministers have not yet given any concrete date on when the visa regime with Kosovo will be abolished.

We have already seen that some member states are hesitating, such as France and the Netherlands. To some extent, even Germany does not have a clear opinion, despite the fact that the Interior Minister [of Germany] has said ‘yes’ to visa liberalization for Kosovo,” Minister Hoxha said.

She also showed her dissatisfaction that the European Council of Ministers did not bring up the issue of Kosovo visa liberalization during the meetings of 6th and 7th June.

Neither Germany nor one of these states brought up the visa liberalization topic. This makes us realize that without reaching a consensus among EU members, I do not see that we will have a decision in the Council of Ministers. I hope that this will be done as soon as possible, so that our citizens can move freely as soon as possible, but it is now in the hands of the member states, namely the two states that have to move this process forward,” she said.

She had previously called through twitter on the EU Council to speed up the process, expressing her disappointment.

Conclusions of the EU Council are disappointing because Kosovo citizens deserve to move freely and have the right to be treated equally as other WB countries. We have expected, and want an objective assessment of Visa Liberalization. All criteria have been fulfilled!” she wrote.

Kosovo started the visa liberalization dialogue in February 2012. It only took a positive recommendation by the EU Commission on 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, the last country in the region, which remains isolated.

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