European Interest

On the border between Kosovo and Montenegro

Flickr/EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency/CC BY 2.0

The ratification of the Border Demarcation Agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro on March 21 was welcomed by the European Union as a sign of progress.

The EU’s High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn issued a joint statement. “The ratification… represents a real achievement, a welcome and concrete progress, very much in the spirit of good neighbourly relations as well as the new Commission Strategy for the Western Balkans,” they said. “The ratification is also the fulfilment of one of the key criteria for Kosovo’s visa liberalisation. As President Juncker said during his recent visit to Kosovo, it is a crucial step towards visa liberalisation which will first and foremost benefit the people.”

In 2016, the European Commission proposed to the Council and the European Parliament to lift the visa requirements for Kosovo citizens on the understanding that Kosovo would ratify the Border Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro and strengthen its track record in the fight against organised crime and corruption.

“The assessment of the track record on the fight against organised crime and corruption continues also in the light of the latest information provided by the Kosovo authorities,” they added. “The EU expects all sides in Kosovo to continue the hard work and successful efforts to achieve visa-free travel for the people of Kosovo and in the interest of the region.”

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