River Neretva and the City of Mostar
River Neretva and the City of Mostar. Photo: flickr/lassi.kurkijarvi

The readiness reports

When the European Commission presented the visa roadmaps to the Western Balkan governments in May and June 2008, the governments were asked to prepare "readiness reports" detailing the state of affairs and future plans with regard to each of the roadmap requirements. These reports were due by early September 2008 and are available below.

The readiness reports were the basis for the assessments that the Commission presented to representatives of EU member states on 24 November 2008. Subsequently, the Commission discussed the assessments with the Western Balkan governments and asked them for additional information and clarifications, which the governments provided (also available below). In its second set of assessments issued on 18 May 2009, the Commission included the new information.

Later on, the Commission asked four countries – all excerpt Macedonia - for another set of readiness reports.

As regards Montenegro and Serbia, the Commission proposed these two countries for visa-free travel in its legislative proposal of 15 July 2009 on condition that they meet a number of outstanding benchmarks before the Council takes the final vote. The Commission sent letters to Serbia and Montenegro on 15 July, explaining which issues they had to tackle, and asking them to report on progress by 25 September 2009 (available below).

On 15 July 2009, Albania and Bosnia, which had achieved mediocre progress by that time, also received letters from the Commission asking them to focus on specific outstanding requirements (53 in Albania's case and 48 in Bosnia's) that needed to be met in order for the related benchmarks to be achieved. The Commission asked the two countries to report on progress by 1 October 2009. (The letters and reports are below.)

Since then, the two countries have issued a number of reports to update the Commission on the measures taken to fulfil the benchmarks. These documents, as well as the results of national expert missions in December 2009 and February 2010, provided input for new assessments issued by the Commission on 19 April 2010.

Finally, on 27 May 2010, the Commission issued a legislative proposal for Albania and Bosnia, suggesting lifting the visa obligation on their citizens if the two countries meet three outstanding open benchmarks each. A Commissionís letter (May 2010) outlined the remaining measures to be taken. Albania and Bosnia had to report on progress by 25 June and at the end of August (reports and letters are below).



Bosnia and Herzegovina:




The Schengen White List Project