Montenegro and European Union

The EU Council of Interior and Justice Ministers made a decision on Monday (November 30th 2009) regarding the abolishment of visas for citizens of Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.

The decision on elimination of the Schengen visa barrier will mean a lot to the peoples of Balkans, although visa requirements are still in place for citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo.

“I strongly welcome this decision, which is an important step in the process of rapprochement with these countries,” French Immigration Minister Eric Besson told reporters, after EU interior ministers had endorsed the move.

He also stated that “removal of visa requirements for Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia will take place on December 19, 2009”. Besson pointed out that he encouraged his EU counterparts “to continue this process with all western Balkans nations, notably Bosnia and Hercegovina and Albania, once the European Commission has completed its road map” for those countries.

Let’s hope that free movements of people will bring a new quality of life to the citizens of the troubled Balkans region. It will surely help in obtaining a new image of Europe, opening new horizonts for many citizens who will, for the first time in their lives, get the opportunity to discover cities and countries that they often call “western developed societies”. Therefore, this step could foster the integration process of the South-Eastern Europe into the European Union.

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