ESI senior analyst Alexandra Stiglmayer will participate in a Policy Dialogue on "Visa liberalisation for Kosovo – Moving from isolation to integration?" organised by the European Policy Centre (EPC) and the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS).
Thursday, 21 January 2015
EPC Auditorium (3rd floor), Rue du Trτne 14-16, 1000 Brussels
15.00-17.00 (registration from 14.40)
- Bekim Ηollaku, Kosovar Minister of European Integration
- Marton Benedek, International Coordinator, Directorate General for Home Affairs International Coordination Unit, European Commission
- Alexandra Stiglmayer, Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative
- Bernard Nikaj, Lecturer in Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Pristina
- Corina Stratulat, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)
Kosovars are the only passport holders from the Balkans who are still excluded from visa-free travel to the EU. The European Commission started a visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo in January 2012 and the prospect of gaining access to Schengen area countries without visa has since served as a powerful incentive for Pristina to carry out difficult but much-needed reforms. While Kosovo aspired to secure a visa-free regime last December, the EU declined to include Kosovo in the visa liberalisation scheme and asked for more work to be done before a positive answer can be granted.
Will the government in Pristina manage to overcome the frustration and polarisation and fulfil its remaining visa requirements? How will the flow of Kosovar migrants witnessed by the EU in early 2015 and the on-going refugee crisis influence the member states' position on granting visa-free travel for Kosovo? What are the potential implications for Kosovo if visa liberalisation is further delayed? How can Kosovo garner more support for visa liberalisation within the EU and how can different European institutions help Pristina in its pursuit of a visa-free regime?
A short documentary produced by KFOS – Rejected – which seeks to raise awareness about the effects of the EU's current visa protocols on the everyday lives of Kosovars will be screened at the beginning of the event.
Please confirm your participation by replying to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ESI news: ESI at public debate on Kosovo's European Perspective (23 April 2015)
- Open Letter on Visa Liberalization from Kosovo Civil Society (31 March 2015)
- ESI newsletter: VISA AND ASYLUM – Red Alert on Turkey – Unfair in Kosovo – Germany's problem (10 March 2015)
- European Commission: July 2014 report assessing Kosovo visa progress
- ESI: About Kosovo and Visa
- ESI news: Kosovar migrants, EU borders, poverty and visa-free travel (7 March 2015)
- ESI: Kosovo country section