European Western Balkans

EC launches evaluation of Albania’s visa-free regime on request of the Netherlands

EU - Albania flags; Photo: Pixabay

BRUSSELS – European Commission has confirmed that it has launched the evaluation of Albania’s visa-free regime, which could result in “undertaking certain steps”, Tanjug reports.

The decision comes after an official request by the Government of Netherlands to return the visa regime for Albanians on Friday, 31 May.

“If the necessity of specific actions is established, the Commission will adopt an implementation act in a span of a month after receiving the request. The evaluation would have to be approved by the Council as well”, stated EC Spokesperson Natasha Bertaud.

According to Tanjug, she did not want to presume the outcome of the process, saying that a decision on suspension of the visa-free regime cannot be made lightly, and that an analysis would certainly precede it.

Last Friday, 105 Dutch MPs from the five main political parties – VVD, CDA, PVV, SP and CU – out of 150 in total made the majority that voted the visas’ reintroduction proposal, Tirana Times reports.

“After many discussions, pointing out that: there has been a considerable criminality rise from the Albanian mafia, whose organizations use the visa-free regime to move freely across Europe and expand their contraband, we ask the government to present to the European Commission a request to urgently begin the process of stopping visa free travel with Albania,” reads the decision of Dutch parliament from 16 April.

On Friday, the Dutch government officially submitted the request to ban Albanians from moving without visas to the Netherlands to the European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, reminds Tirana Times.

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