The European Parliament has called on the European Council “to approve visa liberalisation for Kosovo without further delay.”
On Wednesday, the Parliament endorsed a report on the fight against organized crime in the Western Balkans, urging regional leaders to focus their efforts on reforms that will strengthen rule of law.
The report concluded that “[f]ighting organised crime and EU integration are mutually reinforcing processes. Therefore, the EU should accelerate the integration process with the Western Balkans.”
In this framework, MEPs said that since isolation contributes to crime, the Council should approve visa liberalisation for Kosovo as soon as possible.
In 2018, the European Commission confirmed that Kosovo had met all benchmarks for visa liberalization France and the Netherlands, however, have been adamant that Kosovo is not ready for liberalization yet, halting any advancement on the process.
The report also argues that there is a “[l]ack of genuine political will in fighting the organised crime,” mentioning the fact that several high-level politicans across the region have ties to organised crime groups.
Finally, MEPs called for former Yugoslav archives to be opened so that “links between organised crime, politics and businesses existed before the break-up of Yugoslavia” could be exposed, condemning the lack of political will by the relevant authorities in this regard.