European Western Balkans

Kosovo EU recognition of statehood long overdue

Ulrike Lunacek

STRASBOURG, 11.03.2015. – The European Parliament today voted to adopt a report assessing the situation in Kosovo, drafted by Green MEP and EP vice-president Ulrike Lunacek. Commenting after the vote, Ulrike Lunacek stated:

MEPs have today given a clear message of support for Kosovo and for it to be given a meaningful perspective for EU accession. EU recognition of Kosovo is long overdue. MEPs have called for the EU to complete its official recognition of Kosovo and urged the 5 member states refusing to recognise Kosovo to drop their blockade. The EU’s positive influence in Kosovo has been significantly weakened by its disunity.The report encourages both the government in Pristina and the European Commission to play a more active role in the implementation of visa liberalisation for Kosovars. Kosovo is the only country in the Western Balkans whose citizens are not allowed to travel freely in the EU for three months. This anomalous situation and the feeling of being ‘locked in’ has to change.The report also calls on the government in Pristina to take concrete steps towards providing its citizens with a future in a thriving Kosovo and to stabilise the country both economically and socially, against a background of high but decreasing emigration. It also urges both the authorities in Kosovo and Serbia to clamp down on criminal gangs that traffic undocumented migrants through the region and on to the EU. It also includes calls for tangible progress on rule of law, media freedom and the fight against corruption and organized crime as well as for the continuation of constructive dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. There can be no progress on the fight against corruption without positive cooperation between EULEX and the Kosovo authorities, including the government. EULEX still plays an important role in Kosovo and the investigation about the recent corruption allegations must ensure full transparency, so as to restore the credibility of the EU in Kosovo and beyond.

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