Balkans | EU decision to liberalize visas with Kosovo

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Balkans |  EU decision to liberalize visas with Kosovo

The European Parliament (EP) has approved the decision to allow visa-free travel to the EU for Kosovo passport holders.

In a written statement released after the vote in the EU General Assembly, “Kosovo nationals and EU nationals will be allowed to travel to Kosovo without the need for a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.” Information has been provided.

Thus, the entire Western Balkans region is included in the visa exemption scope with the EU’s visa-free travel area, Schengen.

The decision shall enter into force after its publication in the Official Gazette.

The visa waiver will become effective on the date that the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) goes into operation or on January 1, 2024. This date will be taken into account if the ETIAS comes into force before 2024.

Kosovo, along with other Western Balkan countries, was announced as a “potential candidate” country at the EU leaders’ summit held in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2003.

The country’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 is not currently recognized by 5 EU countries, namely Greece, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and the Greek Cypriot administration.

Kosovo submitted an official application for EU membership in December 2022.

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