The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi said that Kosovo fulfilled all the conditions for visa liberalization, however, more time is needed to convince member states on supporting such a decision.
“All the benchmarks as the Commission has said, are met. Still, we have to convince the member states. And convincing the member states is not an easy job,” Varhelyi stated.
Varhelyi made these comments during a joint press conference with Kosovo’s prime minister, Avdulla Hoti on Thursday in Prishtina.
He noted that convincing the member states “will only happen if we can demonstrate progress on the ground, with daily work and delivery”.
Commissioner Varhelyi said that Kosovo’s prime minister, Avdullah Hoti is working on the issue so the member states can trust that there will be no abuses after visa liberalization.
“Give us a bit of time and space to achieve this and we will get there,” Varhelyi said.
The European Commission confirmed in July that Kosovo has fulfilled all benchmarks towards the long-awaited process for visa liberalization.
However, it remains the only country in Europe whose citizens can not travel visa-free.
Oliver Varhelyi also said that the EU is committed to changing the economic reality in the Balkans region, adding that it also comes with a request.
“And the request is to speed up the reforms because these investments go hand in hand with the reform efforts,” he said.
On the other side, asked on what would happen if there will be no final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, prime minister Hoti said that Kosovo and Serbia will continue their path as two independent states that do not recognize each other.