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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Kosovo) (debate)

  Tanja Fajon, Rapporteur. – Mr President, thank you for all the support to shadow rapporteurs and other colleagues that believe Kosovo today deserves visa liberalisation, and thank you to the Commissioner. To others that still have some doubts, I say that for visa liberalisation the recognition of statehood is not a condition. There is only a need to recognise the travel documents. Increased radicalisation has nothing to do with limited visa-free travel for – mostly – young people and for tourist purposes. But, yes, increased radicalisation can be a result of Kosovo’s isolation and the growing despair that the EU has failed to deliver on its promise.

Once again, Kosovo has met all the benchmarks set by the European Commission – even more than the other countries of the Western Balkans. The European Commission has recognised that, the European Parliament has that, and if you today say Kosovo is not fulfilling the conditions, you are simply lying. You are simply behaving irresponsibly. I urge the EU governments to respect the Treaties, to take a decision on visa waiver for Kosovo, with a qualified majority. The Council does not need unanimity. Stop these games and shameful political purposes, and act now.

Tomorrow we will vote in order to secure a first reading procedure in Parliament. This is not the final vote, but it is an important vote to point a finger at EU governments, showing we in the European Parliament are ready. This is our message again tomorrow. We are keeping our promise, now it is up to you to show your credibility, to show that you care for young people, that you care for young families and for a young country that for far too long has been isolated.


Last updated: 28 June 2019Legal notice