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European Western Balkans
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European Parliament approves visa liberalization with Kosovo

European Parliament session; Photo: European Union

STRASBOURG – European Parliament endorsed the agreement on short-stay visa freedom with Kosovo. Citizens of Kosovo will be allowed to travel to the EU –and EU citizens to go to Kosovo- without requesting a visa, for periods of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. After the law has entered into force, the entire Western Balkans region will have a similar visa framework for the Schengen area.

The visa exemption will enter into force once the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is in place and in any case by 2024.

“After years in the waiting room, Kosovo is now the last one in the Western Balkan region to join our visa-free regime. This finally enables the people of Kosovo to easily travel, visit relatives and do business in the EU. But it is more than that: this milestone is also an important foundation for the future and ever-closer cooperation between the EU and Kosovo”, said EP Rapporteur Thijs Reuten.

The European Parliament has supported visa liberalisation with Kosovo since 2016, after the Commission declared that Kosovo fulfils the criteria of its roadmap for visa liberalisation. Kosovo is currently the only part of the Western Balkans region to not enjoy visa-free travel on short stays with the Schengen area.

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