Monday

19th Aug 2019

EU Commission to recommend visa freedom for Bosnia and Albania

The European Commission is today (27 May) to recommend the granting of visa freedom to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This means the two Western Balkan states will eventually join the list of countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area for visits of up to 90 days. But EU sources told WAZ.EUobserver the proposal would state that both countries will still have to meet some remaining benchmarks first.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Experts from the commission will have to verify this summer or autumn if the benchmarks have been met, and pass a new assessment. Among the areas where Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to do more are the reintegration of returnees and the fight against corruption and organised crime.

The commission's recommendation is expected to be announced by Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. The final decision has to be taken by EU interior ministers. In this way, the EU hopes Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina will seriously attempt to carry out remaining reforms.

The Commission‘s move comes just days before a ministerial meeting of EU and Western Balkans in Sarajevo on 2 June.

The gathering is likely to welcome the recommendation as an important step in bringing citizens of the Western Balkans closer to the EU.

The other countries of the region already enjoy visa freedom with the EU. For Kosovo it is expected that a "similar", but not the same, process of visa dialogue will start soon and can eventually lead to inclusion of Kosovo in the visa-free regime.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Feature

EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock

No EU country willing to open its ports for the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, with France and others turning to the European Commission for help.

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests
  2. Is Salvini closing just harbours or also the rule of law?
  3. No-deal Brexit would seriously harm UK, leaked paper says
  4. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  5. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  6. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  7. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  8. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us