An information campaign on visa-free travel regulations in the Schengen area was officially launched today by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, as he said, this campaign will prepare Kosovar people “what’s on the horizon.”
This is the final step in a long-awaited and long-delayed process before the visa waiver deal is implemented, with the Prime Minister confirming that the deal will finally begin to be implemented from January 1, 2024.
Kosovo’s entry into other neighboring Western Balkan countries without requiring a visa to visit European Union countries for short stays was also confirmed by the German Embassy in Kosovo earlier in the week.
This means that from 1 January 2024, Kosovo passport holders will be able to travel to any state in the EU’s Schengen area and stay there for 90 days within a period of 180 days from the date of entry, for tourism and commercial purposes. , family, cultural and sports visits, or official visits, among many others.
The visa-free travel agreement for Kosovo passport holders was approved by the EU in April this year. However, concerns have been raised following comments by French President Emmanuel Macron that his country may reconsider commitments it has made on political and economic issues regarding visas for Kosovo and Serbia. Such comments were criticized by the rapporteur on Kosovo to the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon, who emphasized that the process is not and should not be linked to the dialogue with Serbia. Meanwhile, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani warned that any suspension of visa-free travel to the EU for Kosovar people would kill dialogue with Serbia once and for all.
Kosovo and Serbia aim to become EU members, but Brussels insists they should first resolve the dispute through mediated dialogue.
On December 14 last year, Kosovo officially applied to join the EU and is waiting for this process to be completed. Last month, the President of the European Commission on NATO (NGO), Gunther Fehlinger, said that Kosovo would be part of the bloc by 2029.