France won’t support visa liberalisation for Kosovo

NEWS 17.05.2019 16:50
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Source: REUTERS/Charles Platiau

France and several other European Union member states believe Kosovo at this moment hasn’t met all conditions for visa liberalisation, according to the French Foreign Ministry, which replied to France's senator Hélène Conway-Mouret who had asked about the issue, the KoSSev website reported on Friday.

Earlier, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, said the decision for visa liberalisation for Kosovo could be made by September this year, adding it was a done deal, since Germany supported it.

However, according to the Deutsche Welle (DW) analysis in Albanian, the approval of 55 percent Schengen member countries, which have to make up 65 percent of total Schengen countries population, is necessary for the liberalisation to be approved. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that visa liberalisation would be granted to Kosovo without France’s consent.

“France, together with some other member states, believes that in this phase not all of the conditions are fulfilled. In the rule of law area, some recent progress has been made, but not enough to stop the corruption. The continuation of reforms is therefore necessary to get tangible effects on the rule of law and fight against organised crime. Newly passed laws must be implemented quickly and sustainably,” the French Foreign Ministry said in its answer.

Senator Hélène Conway-Mouret was unhappy with the reply and wrote on her Facebook profile she was sorry “for the lack of ambition and courage on part of the French state.”

“There are no encouraging signs in the Ministry’s answer that the legitimate expectations of the (Kosovo) population, treated unequally compared to other people in the Western Balkans, were taken into account,” Conway-Mouret wrote.