From: Exit Staff
Mini-Schengen and COVID-Cooperation Agreements Signed Between Tirana, Skopje, and Belgrade

It was decided yesterday that Albanian citizens can now travel to Serbia and North Macedonia with just an identity card.

This was one of the agreements signed yesterday during the virtual Mini-Schengen meeting held between leaders of Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia.

Serbian President Aleksander Vucic said that this will bring the countries closer together politically and will improve the lives of citizens.

Sharing photos from the ongoing online mini-Schengen meeting on the Balkans, Vucic said :

“It is very important that we have agreed not to close the borders with each other, but to fight the pandemic together and continue to improve our trade.

We are small nations, which have usually been heavily influenced by various forces that have wanted to pursue their interests throughout history. Today, this has not changed much, but it is important that, by taking care of ourselves, we try to maintain our independence and make our own decisions.

 And with whom will we make decisions if not with those closest to us. This deepens the trust and good relations between Tirana, Skopje and Belgrade. “

The three countries have also agreed to cooperate in the case there is a hospital overload due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that the agreement is important, not just because of free movement but because of the ability to share information about the virus.

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that citizens will be able to move freely without a PCR test.

We open “green corridors” for travel of our citizens and economic operators. The citizens, but above all the economic operators of these three countries, will travel without the need for PCR-test, of course respecting the measures, which are almost identical “ 

He added:

As of today, we will work for coordination to provide the Covid-19 vaccine to our citizens. We will support and help each other in moments if there is an overload of health systems ” 

The leaders of Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia have also invited Kosovo to join their “mini-Schengen” initiative and expressed their hope that Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina will also join.

In a joint statement, the three leaders “formally invited Kosovo to join the initiative for deeper regional cooperation,” citing the pledges for economic normalization signed in the White House by Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

They highlighted that the mini-Schengen initiative is in line with the Berlin Process, launched by Chancellor Angela Merkel to help Western Balkan countries prepare together for EU accession and that all six countries in the region should participate.