Prishtina, 4 May 2016 – The statement of the Minister for European Integration, Bekim Çollaku, during a press conference on the occasion of receiving the recommendation of the European Commission regarding visa liberalization for the citizens of Kosovo: I want to congratulate all citizens of Republic of Kosovo about today’s proposal of the European Commission regarding visa liberalization, and I want to thank the European Commission for this decision. I would like to mention the President Jean Claude Juncker, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Mogherini, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos regarding their personal contribution. The European Commission through this decision has sealed the fact that the efforts of Kosovo Government for more than four years have successfully met the criteria of the process. Today’s decision of the European Commission is the beginning of opening the doors of the European Union for the people of the most pro-European state. This action shows the conclusion of isolation of Young Europeans, and their equal treatment with all the people of the region. Today’s recommendation is crucial in enabling visa-free travelling within the Schengen area for citizens of Kosovo.
Now that the decision-making procedure has commenced, we will intensify our work with the European Parliament and EU Member States in order to conclude as soon as possible the positive final decision. I strongly believe that this will happen fast, and the Commission’s decision today only reinforces the belief that the movement of citizens without visas will be finalized during this year. As Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, as the head of this process, and above all as a simple citizen, today I am very proud of this outstanding achievement for each and every one of us. I am happy that our youth will also enjoy visa-free movement, and that many of our citizens are closer to the day when it will be easier for them to visit their relatives. This will assist and facilitate the contacts between professionals, academics, entrepreneurs of Kosovo and their European peers etc. This proposal is the result of unmatched dedication of domestic institutions towards meeting the most rigorous and voluminous roadmap criteria that a country has received, whether being in the region or beyond. Therefore, I would like to thank each individual who has contributed to this process, starting with colleagues in the government, predecessors and colleagues in the previous government, Kosovo Assembly, which provided a major contribution to the consolidation of the legislation, and all independent institutions and administration in general about strict implementation of reforms that derived from this process. A special thanks goes to the rule of law institutions, and all municipalities for their work on the ground, which has also significantly contributed on the success of this process. We will continue to implement the reforms and reach further results as it is required by this process. But I must also say that the European reforms in Kosovo do not end with the visa liberalization process, in contrary, the liberalization together with the Stabilization and Association Agreement that entered into force last month will be powerful engines for further results in our European journey. Finally, today’s decision we should see as a clear confirmation that the aspiration for a European Kosovo, and being a member of the European Union, which unites all Kosovar society is not only a dream, but it is something that together we can, and will make it a reality.
Last modified: August 10, 2022