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Visa Liberalisation Process in Western Balkans Countries Aspiring to Join the European Union

Sabiha Shala and Andi Belegu
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Sabiha Shala: University "Haxhi Zeka" Peja, Kosovo
Andi Belegu: College of ESLG, Kosovo

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Abstract: The process of Visa Liberalization is a very important set before all the countries which are prospering to enter the large family of the European Countries. All Western Balkan countries are benefitting from this process except the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo. Kosovo being as the youngest state in Europe that has declared its independence on 17th of February 2008, along with the whole Western Balkans has expressed its interest to become part of the European Union and has been working with the EU institutions to emerge its way towards European integration. After receiving the recommendation for visa liberalization and passing deadlines necessary for the vote by the EU institutions, new "conditions" have been introduced, which have been transformed into a wall between the citizens of Kosovo and the free movement in EU cities. Major legal and political problems in Kosovo have caused great barriers to the functioning of the state and the fulfilment of aspirations for membership and the proper functioning of relations between the state and EU institutions. So, the aim of this article is dual. In one side, the article proof that the conditions for visa liberalisation process for western Balkan countries differ in case of Kosovo, and on the other side identifies main barriers that prolong the visa liberalisation process in Kosovo by applying a comparative, historical and analytical approach towards relations between EU and those countries and current situation.

Keywords: EU Integration; visa liberalization; western Balkan countries; conditions; process; progress; barriers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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