Over 80 Kosovar NGOs write to Macron about visa liberalization

A total of 81 non-governmental organizations in Kosovo have signed the letter addressed to the re-elected president of France, Emmanuel Macron.

In the letter, Macron congratulates himself on his victory in last month's elections, but also reminds him that the visa liberalization dialogue has entered its tenth year.

"As such, this process has taken longer than the visa liberalization process of all Western Balkan countries combined, multiplied by two. Or to put it another way, the entire accession process for Croatia, from candidate status to full membership, took less time than the visa liberalization process for Kosovo," the letter says.

Kosovo is the only country in Europe that does not have visa liberalization with the European Union.

Macron, in the letter, also remembers the fulfilled obligation of Kosovo for this process.

"We, the citizens of Kosovo, looked with despair at the citizens of other countries of the region enjoying their right to move freely through the EU. And when the moment finally came in 2012 to begin the visa liberalization process, Kosovo was handed a roadmap that contained twice as many criteria as for other Western Balkan countries. Despite this, during the next six years, Kosovo fulfilled all the criteria for visa liberalization. This was officially confirmed in July 2018, and then reconfirmed several times by the European Commission and the European Parliament. "Continuous appeals to the Council of the EU to end the isolation of Kosovo have been fruitless," the letter continues.

Kosovar NGOs have called on the French Presidency of the Council of the EU to strengthen the long-term influence of the European Union in the Western Balkans.

"Charles de Gaulle said: 'France cannot be France without greatness.' There has never been a more appropriate time to show this greatness. Therefore, we call on France to lead European expansion into a new era, ending the isolation of Kosovo's citizens and opening membership talks for Albania and North Macedonia. We look forward to the Paris Conference on the Western Balkans, which is held in June, and we hope that it can be a revival moment for the region's perspective towards the EU," the letter states.

Signatory organizations of the letter:

  1. Kosovo Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF)
  2. Kosovo Institute for European Policy (EPIK)
  3. Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS)
  4. Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS)
  5. Organization for Democracy, Anti-corruption and Dignity, Get Up!
  6. Forum for Citizen Initiatives (FIQ)
  7. Democratic Institute of Kosovo/Transparency International Kosovo (KDI/TI)
  8. Community Building Mitrovica (CBM)
  9. Advocacy, Training and Resource Center (ATRC)
  10. Open Data Kosovo (ODK)
  11. Artpolis – Center for art and community (Artpolis)
  12. Kosovo Institute for Policy Research and Development (KIPRED)
  13. YMCA Kosovo
  14. Civil Emancipation Ma Ndryse (EC Ma Ndryse)
  15. Kosovo Center for Security Studies (KCSS)
  16. FOL movement
  17. Eye of Vision (SiV)
  18. Balkan Sunflowers Kosovo (BSK)
  19. Kosovo Humanitarian Law Fund (FDHK)
  20. Kosovo Center for Gender Studies (KKSGj)
  21. American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo (AmCham)
  22. Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders Kosovo (CHwB)
  23. Internews Kosovo
  24. Lumbardhi Foundation
  25. Network of BONEVET organizations
  26. Program for Civil Rights in Kosovo (CRP/K)
  27. Kosovo Center for Education (KEC)
  28. RIINVEST Institute
  29. Kosovo Center for Innovation (ICK)
  30. Kosovo Women's Network (KWG)
  31. Balkan Policy Research Group (BPRG)
  32. GAP Institute for Advanced Studies
  33. Democracy for Development (D4D)
  34. Kosovo Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors (KKRMT)
  35. Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture (ACDC)
  36. Initiative for the Development of Agriculture in Kosovo (IADK)
  37. Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS)
  38. Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Kosovo (YIHR-KS)
  39. Women for Women Kosovo (K-W4W)
  40. Institute for Development Policy (INDEP)
  41. Active NGO
  42. Kosovo Law Institute (KLI)
  43. New Social Initiative (NSI)
  44. Labirint
  45. ETEA NGO
  46. Youth Association for Human Rights (YAHR)
  47. Association of Independent Intellectuals in Deçan (SHIP)
  48. NGO Integra
  49. NGO Zana Klinë
  50. Highway Biennale
  51. Mitrovica Women's Association for Human Rights (MWAHR)
  52. Association for Information and Communication Technology of Kosovo (STIKK)
  53. Kosovar Foundation for Social Enterprise
  54. Center for Equality and Freedom (CEL)
  55. Let's Do It Peja
  56. Center for the Development of Social Groups (CSGD)
  57. NGO Vision 02
  58. Kosovo Architecture Foundation (KAF)
  59. Sbunker
  60. Seventeen Foundation (F17)
  61. Kosovar Center for Distance Education (KCDE)
  62. Association of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Kosovo (SCAAK)
  63. Association for the Protection of Patients' Rights in Kosovo (PRAK)
  64. Democracy starts here (DFK)
  65. Green Foundation (Green)
  66. IPKO Foundation
  67. Center for Political Courage (CPC)
  68. Aureola Women's Association
  69. Coalition of NGOs for the Protection of Children in Kosovo (KOMF)
  70. Network of Peace Movement (NOPM)
  71. Balkan Forum
  72. Association of the Blind of Kosovo (SHVK)
  73. Germi
  75. Action for Mothers and Children (AMC)
  76. Women's Association "Hand to Hand"
  77. Professional Medical Association (PHA)
  78. Institute for the Development of Civil Society "Innovate"
  79. ANIBAR
  80. Organization for Quality Enhancement in Education (ORCA)
  81. NGO Polis