Prizren, 21 December, 2023
As part of the information campaign for visa liberalization, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, met today with the Turkish community in Prizren, with whom he talked and shared information about the exercise of the right to freedom of movement in the Schengen area from which we only 10 days apart. Along with the Prime Minister in this information session were the Deputy Prime Minister Emilja Rexhepi and the deputies from the ranks of the Turkish community in the Assembly of the Republic, Enis Kervan and Fidan Jilta.
Beyond the benefits for businesses and students, artists and athletes, the liberalization of visas, as the Prime Minister said, also has a human dimension because since 1/3 of the citizens are in exile, liberalization gives us the opportunity not to miss the most precious moments of of life to be there for each other in memories that last a lifetime.
Against this issue, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo has carried out an information campaign throughout the country, where throughout October and November the van with information has visited over 30 municipalities of Kosovo, with materials printed in Albanian, Serbian, Turkish and Romani languages. In its framework, the EU quiz for citizens was also included, which enabled a group to win the first visa-free trip on January 1 to Vienna, Austria.
The information campaign, in addition to the field, was also carried out at the airport and border points, on TV/radio and social networks. All citizens’ questions are addressed to the toll-free telephone number 0800 77 001, launched exclusively for the explanation of the rules that must be respected from January 1, 2024, when visa liberalization comes into force.
Reiterating the criteria for free movement, such as biometric passports, traveling only 90 days within 180 days, information and evidence on the purpose of travel, evidence of where you will stay during the visit, as well as sufficient financial evidence and a return ticket, the Prime Minister made call to use this achievement responsibly as it is a right that we have earned with difficulty.
“The democratic and economic progress at the beginning of the mandate, and especially the achievements in the rule of law, in the fight against organized crime and corruption, the management of asylum and repatriation, have raised the image of the Republic of Kosovo and convinced even the most skeptics within the European Union to finally take the decision to liberalize visas for Kosovo. So, this achievement is a joint achievement, since the marked progress would not have been possible without the support of the citizens”, said Prime Minister Kurti.
The information campaign for visa liberalization initiated by the Government started on October 5 in the capital of the state, Pristina, and continued in more than 30 municipalities of Kosovo, including 4 municipalities in the north of the country.
Prime Minister Kurti’s complete speech:
Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Emilja Rexhepi, responsible for Minority and Human Rights Issues in our Government,
Dear members of the Assembly of the Republic,
Dear representatives of state institutions
Dear young people from Prizren,
Ladies and gentleman,
The time of long waits in front of embassies, of missing birthdays and family celebrations, of losing opportunities for studies and business, has come to an end.
From today, only ten days separate us from January 1, 2024 and the exercise of freedom of movement in the Schengen area.
For a country that has every third citizen in exile, visa liberalization for Kosovo is more than freedom of movement.
Beyond the benefits for businesses and students, artists and sportsmen who will be given the opportunity to represent and participate, the liberalization of visas also has a human dimension, which is the opportunity for grandparents to participate in the graduation ceremony of their nieces and nephews. It is the joy of being present at the wedding of a girlfriend or boyfriend and the warmth you feel when the family comes together – these are the moments that give our lives meaning and enrich it. So it’s not just the ability to go to another place, but to not miss the precious moments of life, to be there for each other and not to miss memories that last a lifetime.
Freedom of movement will not only broaden our horizons but also deepen our connections. Therefore in this change of weather when the hands of the clock will pass the 12 o’clock, of the number 12, we will have a double celebration. To this year’s achievements we will add hopes and expectations for next year with more freedom.
We will use this freedom gained with a lot of effort and sacrifice responsibly, respecting the rules and requirements. For this, we have conducted a fair information campaign, all over the country in each municipality of the Republic.
We started the information campaign for visa liberalization on October 5 in Pristina. Throughout October and November, the van with information has visited over 30 municipalities in Kosovo, including 4 municipalities in the north of the country. We were in Prizren on October 9. In addition to the Albanian and Serbian languages, we have translated and printed the information materials in the Turkish language as well as in the Romani language.
The European Union Quiz has enabled one group to win the first visa-free travel on January 1 to Vienna, Austria.
Some informational videos and audio materials have been produced, while all the information can be found on the European Integration website in these brochures, which you have in front of you in Turkish as well.
In addition to the information campaign on the ground, we also did it at the airport and border points, on television, radio and social networks. Yesterday, together with the German Embassy, we were in Graçanica and in a shopping center in Pristina, and today, before coming here, the campaign was carried out in Mamushë.
Yesterday, we also launched the toll-free number for all your questions which is 0800 77 001. Materials and information have been distributed in all civil registry centers and meetings have been held with citizens and non-governmental organizations from all communities, to explain the rules that must be respected from January 1, 2024 when it enters the visa liberalization power.
As you all know, because we have experienced it together, this process has been prolonged and delayed due to the lack of decision-making by the European Union, as well as the lack of progress and the damaged image of us. The democratic and economic progress at the beginning of the mandate, and especially the achievements in the rule of law, in the fight against organized crime and corruption, the management of asylum and repatriation, have raised the image of the Republic of Kosovo and convinced even the most skeptics within the Union European Union to finally take the decision to liberalize visas for Kosovo. So, this achievement is a joint achievement, as the marked progress would not have been possible without the support of the citizens.
Liberalization means free movement, however, we must be careful, because it contains rules, which must be carefully observed and strictly respected. Let me mention them:
– You must have a biometric passport;
– You can travel only 90 days within 180 days;
– You must have information and evidence on the purpose of the trip;
– You must provide proof of where you will stay during the visit, with relatives or at the hotel; and
– Sufficient financial evidence and return ticket.
Visa liberalization must be used responsibly as it is a hard-earned right.
Let’s travel freely, but responsibly and well-informed.
After my speech you will have the opportunity to hear from my staff about the possibilities and rules of visa-free travel and they are ready to answer all your questions.
Thank you, joy and congratulations in 2024 once again to all of you and each and every one of you.
Last modified: January 23, 2024