Scepticism in Kosovo over EU plans to grant Schengen visa permits to passport holders

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By Euronews
Kosovo Albanian woman Teuta Begolli shows her new passport after it was presented by Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci
Kosovo Albanian woman Teuta Begolli shows her new passport after it was presented by Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci   -   Copyright  Visar Kryeziu/AP

The European Union has moved a step closer to allowing Kosovo passport holders to enter the bloc without a visa.

Under draft laws, Kosovar citizens could, from 1 January 2024, travel to the EU without a visa for a period of stay of 90 days over a six-month period.

Among western Balkan countries, only Kosovo citizens must currently apply for a permit to visit, study, or receive medical care in the EU and the Schengen area.

But some experts have suggested that the 2024 deadline is a threat from Brussels to urge Kosovo to ease tensions with Serbia.

“The visa issue is a political one. It has nothing to do with standards or technical criteria. So, the progress or the regress in the dialogue may have an effect in the next phase of the liberalisation of the visa”, says political analyst Gazmir Raci.

“Unfortunately, a process that was not supposed to be connected with the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue... was connected. So we see the 2024 deadline as a threat that the EU is making toward us”, says Adrian Çollaku, analyst and editor-in-chief of online newspaper Blic. 

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