The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union told SchengenVisa.com that it would like to see a positive decision in the Council by the end of the Czech Presidency, regarding Kosovo’s visa liberalisation process, including an approved timeline as to when the visa waiver for Kosovo will come into force while stressing that the European Travel Information and Authorisation Process will be compulsory for all non-EU countries.
The issue of the visa liberalisation process for Kosovo was included in the agenda of the European Commission’s working group for the first time on October 13 as a topic of discussion, while the Czech Presidency once again confirmed that the issue will be discussed again in the second week of November, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“The Czech Presidency has re-introduced and re-opened the question of visa liberalisation for Kosovo at the October Visa Working Party and we will continue discussions again in the second week of November. It is a priority for the Czech Presidency and we would like to see a positive decision in the Council by the end of the Czech Presidency including an approved timeline as to when the visa waiver for Kosovo will come into force,” Veronika Lukášová, spokesperson for the 2022 Czech Presidency of the EU Council, told SchengenVisaInfo.com.
When asked by SchengenVisaInfo.com what is Czech position regarding France’s proposal that Kosovo’s visa liberalization process be linked with the operationalization of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, Lukášová said that this system will be compulsory for all non-EU nationals.
“The European Travel Information and Authorisation System will be mandatory for all non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area, once the system is operational in 2023,” Lukášová pointed out in this regard.
Previously it was reported that in the meeting of the working group held on October 13, France unfolded a proposal that Kosovo’s visa liberalisation process be linked with the operationalisation of ETIAS, and it was backed by at least four EU Member States; Belgium, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
However, Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs neither affirmed nor denied the country’s position when asked regarding the issue by SchengenVisaInfo.com, stressing that the position of EU Member States in this regard will be specified in the next meeting.
“The subject has just begun to be dealt with in Brussels, and it will follow its normal procedure throughout which the positions of the different Member States will be specified,” Elena Aljarilla, from Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs press department told SchengenVisaInfo.com
According to a recent report by Radio Free Europe, Czechia supports the France proposal.
Radio Free Europe has had access to the document, which will be discussed in the next meeting of the working group that will be held on November 9.
The report of Radio Free Europe says that the amended proposal of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union also consists of requirements for Kosovo to finalize repatriation agreements with the EU countries with which there are no such concrete agreements by Kosovo up to this point, and also adapt its visa policy to that of the EU.
Kosovo’s visa liberalisation process started on February 19, 2012; however, it has not been finalised yet, despite the fact that in 2018, the European Commission estimated that the country meets the two last requirements for the process to be finished.