ESI's proposal for the way forward

Waiting for visa at the embassy

On 1 June 2009, on the eve of EU deliberations on granting visa-free travel to countries of the Western Balkans, ESI outlined a way forward in a letter sent to the responsible officials from EU member states and EU institutions.

ESI proposes visa-free travel for Macedonia, which has met the requirements of the visa roadmap, as well as for Montenegro and Serbia, which can prove in the coming months that they are serious about implementing the remaining reforms. ESI also suggests moving Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which still have work to do, onto the "Schengen White List", along with the other three countries – but stipulating, at the same time, that visa-free travel will not begin until the European Commission confirms that all the roadmap conditions have been met.

ESI also asked that the Commission and the member states refrain from demanding that Serbia prevent residents of Kosovo from acquiring Serbian passports. As long as the EU does not offer Kosovo a visa roadmap or another process leading towards visa-free travel, it implicitly accepts that Kosovars are Serbian citizens. This means Kosovars have a right to Serbian travel and identity documents without any discrimination.

ESI's proposal is based on the 18 May 2009 Commission assessments of Western Balkan countries' progress in implementing the visa roadmaps.

ESI's 1 June letter to EU officials in six languages: