Bruxelles (Belgique)

Visa liberalisation for Kosovo. Moving from isolation to integration ?

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The European Policy Centre, in cooperation with the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS), is pleased to invite you to this policy dialogue with :

Bekim Çollaku
Kosovar Minister of European Integration

Marton Benedek
International Coordinator, Directorate General for
Home Affairs International Coordination Unit, European Commission

Alexandra Stiglmayer
Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative

Bernard Nikaj
Lecturer in Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Pristina

Corina Stratulat
Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)

EPC Auditorium (3rd floor), Rue du Trône 14-16, 1000 Brussels
15.00-17.00 (registration from 14.40)

Kosovars are the only passport holders from the Balkans who are still excluded from visa-free travel to the EU. The European Commission started a visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo in January 2012 and the prospect of gaining access to Schengen area countries without visa has since served as a powerful incentive for Pristina to carry out difficult but much-needed reforms. While Kosovo aspired to secure a visa-free regime last December, the EU declined to include Kosovo in the visa liberalisation scheme and asked for more work to be done before a positive answer can be granted.

Will the government in Pristina manage to overcome the frustration and polarisation and fulfil its remaining visa requirements ? How will the flow of Kosovar migrants witnessed by the EU in early 2015 and the on-going refugee crisis influence the member states’ position on granting visa-free travel for Kosovo ? What are the potential implications for Kosovo if visa liberalisation is further delayed ? How can Kosovo garner more support for visa liberalisation within the EU and how can different European institutions help Pristina in its pursuit of a visa-free regime ?

A short documentary produced by KFOS – Rejected – which seeks to raise awareness about the effects of the EU’s current visa protocols on the everyday lives of Kosovars will be screened at the beginning of the event.

European Policy Centre
Tel : 02 231 03 40