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EU countries support visa liberalization for Kosovo nationals beginning in November 2023

At the working group on visas meeting held today, the members of the European Union aligned their positions on a compromise, based on which a decision regarding the visa liberalization for Kosovo would be approved and would take effect on November 1, 2023, when the European Travel Information System  (ETIAS) would be implemented.

This announcement was made via a recent broadcast from Radio Free Europe.

At the Council of the European Union's working group on visas meeting on October 13, the question of visa liberalization for nationals of Kosovo was brought up for the first time; it was again discussed at the working group meeting today.

Kosovo has been waiting for the completion of this process since February 19, 2012, despite the European Commission's assessment that the Balkan nation satisfied all requirements for such a process to be completed as of 2018.

It was mentioned during the working group meeting on October 13 that France had unveiled a proposal to tie Kosovo's visa liberalization process to the operationalisation of ETIAS.

At the time, it was emphasized that at least four European Union members—Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden—supported the idea.

The Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union was said to endorse France's proposal before to the working group meeting.

The revised proposal of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union also included other requirements, such as the completion of repatriation agreements by Kosovo authorities with the European Union countries with which there are no such agreements, and adapt its visa policy to that of the EU. This is in addition to the conditional liberalization of visas for citizens of Kosovo with the operationalization of ETIAS.

According to a recent statement by the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, the Czech Presidency would like to see a favorable decision made about this process by the end of the Czech Presidency.

"The Czech Presidency has re-introduced and re-opened the question of visa liberalisation for Kosovo at the October Visa Working Party and we will continue discussions again in the second week of November." According to Veronika Lukášová, a representative for the Czech Presidency of the EU Council in 2022, "It is a priority for the Czech Presidency and we would like to see a positive decision in the Council by the end of the Czech Presidency including an approved timeline as to when the visa waiver for Kosovo will come into force."



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