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ALDE urges visa-free travel for citizens of Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina


07 Oct 2010


Global Europe

The European Parliament has voted by an overwhelming majority to approve a European Commission proposal to grant visa-free travel to the EU's Schengen zone for nationals of Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most EU states plus 3 non-EU states belong to Schengen. The decision now passes to the Council of Ministers.

ALDE MEP Sarah LUDFORD (Liberal Democrat, UK) said: "The European Union is a project designed for security in the broadest sense through opening minds and horizons in order to build a continent of peace and prosperity. Visa-free travel will promote the European integration of Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina through widening the experience and outlook of its citizens and combating nationalism, conflict and ethnic hatred, thereby increasing security of EU citizens too."

"Visa waiver is of course a privilege not to be abused, only for short term tourist, visitor and business travel. With the 2 states concerned having fulfilled all the required conditions concerning law enforcement, corruption and illegal migration, it would be a betrayal of a solemn 'road map' promise of long standing for any EU Member State now to block it." concluded Ludford

"Visa liberalisation is for the people and not a reward for politicians. Last year, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina failed to secure visa liberalisation because they did not do their political homework and did not fulfill their obligations to their citizens. They succeeded, this year, but at the very last second leaving some doubts. We welcome visa liberalisation for our friends, partners, and dear neighbours from both countries, because they contribute to building a common, better, richer and more extended European Union." said ALDE MEP Jelko KACIN (LDS, Slovenia)

"Today's decision of the European Parliament to abolish visas is our common achievement, and an important political and a sincere human message. But both governments must still keep working hard to fulfil and respect rules and obligations." concluded Kacin.
For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84
Federica Terzi: +32-2-283 23 24 or +32-494 18 88 31



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