European Parliament committee backs visa-free travel for Balkan countries

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Friday, October 9, 2009

The European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee supported on Tuesday a proposal by the European Commission to scrap visa requirements for citizens of Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia, starting on January 1 of next year.

The committee also asked that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania be included in the visa liberalisation process, although neither has met EU-determined benchmarks yet. European Parliament members also want to initiate visa liberalisation dialogues with Kosovo and establish a roadmap for visa-free travel.

Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro currently appear to have strong support within the Parliament for implementing the proposal.

“I am convinced that what we are trying to do now with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania will not slow down the other three countries. This was a political decision by all the member-states of the European community and that will not change,” said Tanja Fajon, the European Parliament Rapporteur on Visa Liberalization.


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