Kosovo intends to submit an application to the European Union in the coming days, with 2030 as the initial target date.
Besnik Bislimi, Kosovo's first deputy prime minister in charge of European integration, said in an interview that the country's officials are "ready to place Kosovo on the new trajectory," implying that the country is serious about moving closer to the EU, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The process of gaining entry to the EU is lengthy and needs years of regulatory reforms, among other things. Furthermore, the same states that the position of Kosovo is particularly complicated because five EU member states - Cyprus, Romania, Greece, Spain, and Slovakia - still do not recognise Kosovo's independence.
According to the same source, Bislimi stated that Kosovo might be ready for membership by 2030 as an initial goal. Apart from that, Bislimi stated that the EU is incomplete without the Western Balkans.
Furthermore, Bislimi emphasised that Kosovo's young population is one of the country's advantages, and he expressed confidence about the economic improvements that the country needs to make.
According to Bislimi, the "abundance of business energy" in Kosovo will make reforms simpler. In terms of the rule of law, Bislimi stated that reforms in this area are difficult.
In addition to the foregoing, Bislimi stated that he believes the country would be able to resolve other conflicts, including the thorny topic of recognition. Furthermore, Bislimi emphasised that the EU nations who have yet to recognise Kosovo would not be an impediment to its accession bid in the end.
While Kosovo will have to wait several years for a response to its EU accession application, its residents may soon be allowed to travel to the EU without needing to apply for a Schengen visa, as EU ambassadors have already agreed on an EU Council negotiating mandate on visa-free travel for Kosovo.
The announcement was confirmed by the EU Council earlier in November through an official press statement.
The Czech Republic's Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavsk, stated that the draught guidelines would allow persons possessing a Kosovo passport to travel to the EU without a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Furthermore, Minister Lipavsk stated that the visa exemption for Kosovo citizens would be effective as of the start date of the ETIAS operation.
By fLEXI tEAM