13 January 2011
ESI advocates visa process for Kosovo
Alexandra Stiglmayer – Ilir Dugolli – Ulrike Lunacek
Alexandra Stiglmayer – Ilir Dugolli – Ulrike Lunacek

On 13 January 2011, ESI Senior Analyst Alexandra Stiglmayer participated in a conference on Kosovo organised by Think Young, a think-tank targeting young Europeans, in cooperation with Google. Other speaker at the debate, which took place in Brussels and was titled "The Youth as Promoter of the EU Integration of Kosovo", were Ulrike Lunacek, member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on Kosovo, and Ilir Dugolli, Kosovo's Ambassador to Belgium.

Alexandra presented ESI's most recent report on the visa issue in Kosovo and argued that the EU was shooting itself in the foot by denying Kosovo a visa liberalisation process. She said if Kosovo were given such a process, it would work on a long list of issues that matter to the EU's security, from border control and document security to the fight against organised crime, illegal migration and corruption. Kosovo would automatically have a common agenda with EULEX. It would also have to further improve the reintegration of forced returnees to Kosovo, in particular Roma and other minorities, and it would have to fight discrimination against minorities more proactively. She also stressed that Kosovo had done more on relevant issues, such as readmission, than the Western Balkans before they received a visa liberalisation process.

If you would like to know more about the event, read the conference report by "Think Young".

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Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

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Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com