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Visa-free Schengen travel for Bosnians and Albanians is great news

Date

28 May 2010

Sections

Global Europe

Sarah Ludford (UK, Liberal Democrats) ALDE spokeswoman on Bosnia & Herzegovina, has strongly welcomed the European Commission's approval today for visa-free travel for Bosnians and Albanians to the EU Schengen zone. The proposal will now go to the Council of Ministers for its support.

She said:

“It is fantastic that the people of Bosnia and Albania are set within a few months to regain the freedom to travel without red tape in Europe that they had two decades ago in the former Yugoslavia. This will help to integrate Bosnia into Europe and boost its journey towards EU membership. It is also a step forward for Albania - a country that suffered so long behind such rigid frontiers.

“But this concession is not a free lunch. In return for visa waiver, BiH and Albania have made big efforts to increase document and border security and increase police competence to tackle criminals. It is a win-win situation where the authorities of the EU and Bosnia and Albania cooperate more closely in law enforcement but real security is also boosted by Bosnians and Albanians raising their horizons and seeing how a diversity of people get along together in the rest of Europe.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Sarah Ludford was the European Parliament rapporteur on the Visa Information System.

For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84
e-mail: neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu
Euan Roddin: +32-2-284 41 57 or +32-475-59 13 74

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