During a meeting with a government delegation from Kosovo today, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will hand over the roadmap for visa liberalisation for Kosovo. Welcoming this event Green MEP and EP draftsperson/rapporteur on Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, said:
"Today's hand over of the visa liberalisation roadmap with Kosovo brings new momentum to the EU integration process for the youngest state in Europe. This long overdue roadmap is a constructive step in the EU's visa dialogue with Kosovo and its implementation will end the unacceptable isolation of Kosovar citizens compared with the rest of their neighbours in the region, who have enjoyed visa liberalisation for some time.
"This roadmap, which the EP called for in adopting my report on Kosovo in March, gives Kosovo a real and tangible accession perspective, and this must be followed up with further steps towards a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
"It is positive that the Commission is following the Western Balkan one-step approach for the visa liberalisation process with Kosovo and not the Ukraine/Moldova two-step approach. It should not be discouraging for the Kosovo authorities to meet 100 benchmarks while other countries in the region have only met around 50 criteria. All these accomplishments will speed up Kosovo's European integration process as a whole. The government of Kosovo must thoroughly implement the roadmap, involving its parliament and civil society, with a view to realising free travel as soon as possible."