The EU ambassadors on Tuesday adopted a compromise text on visa liberalization for Kosovo ahead of the final adoption by the EU Council, the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU said.
“The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU brings Kosovo one step further on its European path,” it said on Twitter.
At the beginning of 2023, visa liberalization for Kosovo should be confirmed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
Visa liberalization will enable Kosovo passport holders to travel and stay up to 90 days in the EU without a visa.
The EU Council Presidency and European Parliament last week agreed on a draft regulation on visa-free travel for Kosovo citizens after Kosovo’s top officials signed an official application for the country to join the 27-member bloc.
This exemption from the visa requirement would apply from the start date for the operation of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) and in any case no later than Jan. 1, 2024.
Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared independence in 2008. It aspires to EU membership and aims to gain a visa-free regime for the EU zone.
But Serbia has not recognized Kosovo’s independence and sees its former province as its territory.
Kosovo is also not a member of NATO or the UN.
Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are EU member countries that do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.