Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Albania Political Crisis Complicates Visa Liberalisation

By Gjergj Erebara

Bosnia and Herzegovina will be awarded visa liberalisation with the EU by the end of this year, but the situation in Albania is more complicated, MEP Eduard Kukan has said, adding that Kosovo's negotiations for visa liberalisation can begin despite existing issues.

Kukan, a Slovakian member of the European Parliament, is the chair of the Delegation of the European Parliament for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

In a meeting with a group of journalists from the Western Balkans, Kukan stressed that even Kosovo is on its way toward visa liberalisation, while the political crisis in Albania is undermining the achievements made on technical criteria.

“The sensitive issue in the discussion on Bosnia and Herzegovina was whether we have to grant visa liberalisation before the election or after the election,” said Kukan. “The European Commission set certain technical criteria to be fulfilled and once those criteria have been fulfilled, they should have the liberalised visa regime, otherwise the rest is politics and not correct,” he added.

According to Kukan, Bosnia has fulfilled most of the visa roadmap and there are only two or three details to be finalised.....

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