EP votes “pro” visa waiver for Kosovo
The European Parliament gave the green light to launching visa liberalization procedures so that Kosovo citizens can move freely in European Union countries. 420 MEPs voted in favor of Kosovo, while 186 others opposed and 22 abstentions.
Before the vote, the draftsman of the report, Tanja Fajon, called for a ‘pro’ vote to give Kosovo what, in her view, deserves it completely.
“This is not a final vote. However, the credibility of this room is in jeopardy. Kosovo has met all the criteria for visa liberalization and it is now our duty to continue. So we have done it in all cases, as with Ukraine of Moldova and Georgia. I ask you to vote Pro. Kosovo citizens need it”.
The vote paves the way for setting up a tripartite commission of talks with member states of the union, which consists of Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers. Representative of the European Legislature will be Fajon himself, who after the vote wrote on Twitter that Kosovo was one step closer to free movement.
The European Parliament’s vote was welcomed by President Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. The first meeting of the working group will take place on 17 September. The issue will then be discussed for discussion by the interior ministers of the member countries of the Union, who make a decision by a qualified majority.
On 18 July, the European Commission assessed that Kosovo had fulfilled all the criteria and recommended the European Union to liberalize visas for Kosovo citizens. One of the main criteria was the adoption of the border demarcation with Montenegro by the Kosovo Assembly./tvklan.al