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The European Commission with a new proposal: Remove visas for citizens of Kosovo who have Serbian passports
Written by SOT.COM.AL 17 Nëntor 2023
The European Commission, taking into account the removal of visas for citizens of Kosovo, has proposed that visas be removed for holders of passports of the Republic of Serbia, who reside in the territory of Kosovo.
In order to include the holders of passports issued by a special office in Belgrade (coordinating office), the Commission has proposed changing the decision on the liberalization of visas for Serbia.
Serbs from Kosovo have the right to the passport of Serbia, which received visa liberalization in 2009. However, at the request of the EU, it was necessary to form a Coordinating Administration for the issuance of passports for those with an address in Kosovo. In April of this year, the EC emphasized that the visa liberalization approved for Kosovo applies only to holders of Kosovo passports and not to those citizens who have passports of the Coordinating Administration, which works within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. of Serbia.
At that time, it was assessed that there is a risk from mass migration, as well as some security issues. In its proposal, the European Commission argues that there are no longer any reasons for which it was decided that holders of passports of the Republic of Serbia with residence in Kosovo not be able to travel without a visa, unlike citizens of Serbia with residence in Serbia.
From January 1, 2024, citizens of Kosovo are expected to travel without visas to 27 EU countries, which make up the so-called Schengen area.
After the liberalization of visas for holders of biometric passports of the Republic of Kosovo comes into force, holders of Serbian passports residing in Kosovo would remain the only ones without the possibility of visa-free movement. The Commission has given this proposal, while now the decision must to be taken by the Council in cooperation with the European Parliament. In its proposal, the European Commission has emphasized that the current situation regarding the holders of Serbian passports issued by the coordinating office in Belgrade has been discussed with the authorities of Serbia and Kosovo.
"On November 16, the European Commission approved the proposal that all citizens of the Western Balkans can move without visas in the EU. This is also proposed for holders of passports issued by the coordinating Directorate in Belgrade. Now the decision is in the hands of the Council and the European Parliament", said the spokesperson of the European Commission for internal affairs and human rights Kristijan Viegand.
The decision on the liberalization of visas for Kosovo will start to be implemented from January 1 of the coming year.
Meanwhile, the decision that even holders of Serbian passports residing in Kosovo can move without visas will enter into force 20 days after publication in the official EU gazette./REL