BRUSSELS – Member of European Parliament and Standing Rapporteur for Kosovo Viola von Cramon Taubadel (Greens/EFA) sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer, urging them to put the agenda of Kosovo visa liberalisation on the agenda of the Council of the European Union during the German Presidency, which begins on 1 July. The letter was co-signed by 32 MEPs.
“At the moment, Kosovo is one of the very few remaining European countries, whose citizens cannot travel freely into the Schengen area without a visa. However, this does not depend on Kosovars anymore. The process to achieve visa liberalisation is supposed to be based on objective criteria, which, as announced by the European Commission, has been fulfilled in July 2018, exactly two years ago”, von Cramon wrote.
She pointed out that the past four Council presidencies did not deal with the issue and expressed hope that Germany will resolve this problem due to its ties and commitments to the Western Balkans.
Von Cramon added that there are certainly still problems in Kosovo, such as organised crime and unfounded asylum applications, but she stressed that the EU institutions have made it clear several times that this would not be an obstacle to the visa liberalisation.
“The benchmarks have been fulfilled by Kosovo. They have done their homework, now it is our turn not to break our promise. We are losing our credibility when a third country does what we demand of them but they do not get advantages that we promised them”, Von Cramon wrote.
She reminded that the European Parliament has supported the issue multiple times and included it in its recently adopted resolution on enlargement, which was supported by an overwhelming number of MEPs.
The letter was co-signed by 32 MEPs from the groups of European People’s Party, Socialists and Democrats, Renew Europe and von Cramon’s own group, Greens/European Free Alliance.