December 13 2020
A video meeting between Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the Kosovars' hopes that the youngest nation in Europe will soon be able to achieve the sought-after visa liberalization with the EU.
The French President and PM Hoti addressed a variety of issues during the meeting, including the recent step-down of former Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi, the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, as well as the issue of visa liberalization in Kosovo.
With regard to the above, France, along with the Netherlands, strongly opposed the granting of visa-free entry to the Schengen Region by Kosovars, arguing that the latter had not yet fulfilled the criteria, despite the fact that the EU Commission stated in 2018 that all the requirements had been met by Kosovo.
The two officials decided, according to the Kosovo PM's Facebook post, to take the required steps in this direction.
'With regard to visa liberalization, we decided that in the coming days, as part of the verification processes, expert-level meetings will take place, followed by a political-level meeting between the interior ministers of the two countries,' said PM Hoti in his article.
A similar strategy was also applied in the case of Germany, which was approached by former Ambassador Christian Heldt, who said that Kosovo should use the visa liberalization approach for all other skeptical nations, including France and the Netherlands.
Back in mid-October, France reiterated its stance that in order to complete its lengthy process of visa liberalization, Kosovo had not met all the required requirements.
Whereas back in July, European Union Rapporteur Viola von Cramon stressed again that along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, French President Emanuel Macron had been responsible for the delayed phase of visa liberalization for the people of Kosovo.
Macron and Rutte were 'keeping their foot on the break' with respect to the new process of Visa Liberalization for Kosovo, according to von Cramon.
On 19 February 2012, Kosovo's path to reach an agreement on EU visa liberalization began. The European Commission reported on 18 July 2018 that Kosovo has fulfilled the last two special conditions for visa liberalization.