During its presidency, the Czech Republic wants to push for visa liberalization in Kosovo

During its presidency, the Czech Republic wants to push for visa liberalization in Kosovo

The Czech Republic intends to advance the Western Balkans agenda during its EU Council Presidency, in particular visa liberalization for Kosovo.

In an interview with EURACTIV Czech Republic, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Sarajevo Ivana Hlavsová outlined several goals of her country’s presidency in relation to the Western Balkans. One of them is visa liberalization for Kosovo.

“This country had conditions attached and fulfilled them several years ago, as confirmed by the European Commission at the time. However, the visa requirement has not yet been lifted. That is a clear question for us and we will try to push this file as far as possible.”and explained by Mrs. Hlavsová.

Other Czech projects are already taking shape, France has found a way to resolve the dispute between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, paving the way for the start of enlargement negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania.

Ms. Hlavsová claimed that the Czech Republic wants to eliminate bilateral disputes from the EU enlargement process.

“There are so many bilateral disputes in the Western Balkans that this could effectively stall the enlargement process. That is why we continue to say: settle your bilateral problems among yourselves.”said the diplomat.

Referring to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms Hlavsová said the ball was now in Sarajevo.

“Bosnia applied for membership in 2016 and in 2019 the European Commission carried out a readiness assessment and gave the country 14 key missions to start accession negotiations. We expect that at least some of these must be met in order to gain candidate status.”and explained by Mrs. Hlavsová.

According to the ambassador, some minor changes have been made, but no significant progress has been made due to the complexity of the domestic political situation.

“We, the Czech Presidency, would like to move forward on this issue, but the problem is much more on the side of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s not like in the case of North Macedonia and Albania, where those countries did everything and it was our turn.”she remembered.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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