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GLPS: The approval of the EC proposal removes the motive of Serbs to obtain Kosovar passports

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The Group for Legal and Political Studies is opposing the proposal of the European Commission to include the passports of the Coordinating Office of the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia in visa liberalization. Until recently, the motive of Kosovo Serbs to obtain Kosovar passports has increased, according to GLPS, the approval of such a proposal removes this motive.

The European Commission this Thursday has proposed to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to remove the visas of holders of Serbian passports issued by the Coordinating Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs mainly for Kosovo Serbs.

In these passports, the residences of Kosovo appear as the residences of Serbia.

A year after Kosovo declared its independence, the EU made a condition to Serbia that the liberalization of visas applies only to its ordinary passports, which was then reflected in the European legislation.

"For persons residing in Kosovo as defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 on June 10, 1999 (otherwise known as UNSCR 1244) and persons with a citizenship certificate issued by the territory of Kosovo (UNSCR 1244), a Coordination Office in Belgrade will be competent for receiving passport applications and issuing passports", it is stated in point 4 of EC (1244/2009) - November 30, 2009.

And the latest EC proposal, according to the Group for Legal and Political Studies, despite the fact that it may serve free movement, removes the motivation of Serbs to integrate at the most basic level possible - that of being citizens of Kosovo.

This would be a very good momentum to exert even more pressure on those citizens who have not yet been provided with official documents to do so. Even if this proposal comes at such a moment when there is a prerequisite and perhaps the desire - because the same would be stimulated to apply for Kosovo documents - such a proposal damages this option and really this opportunity for institutional integration of Serbian citizens" , said Arbresha Loxha - Stublla - GLPS director.

However, the European Commission's proposal is for the EU to recognize these travel documents, citing the assertion that those holding Serbian Coordination Office passports would be discriminated against from January 1, 2024, when visas for citizens will be abolished. of Kosovo.

"With the entry into force of visa liberalization for those who hold Kosovo passports, the Commission considers that the reasons for excluding holders of passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Office from visa liberalization do not exist, and that all citizens of the Western Balkans region should benefit from the liberalization of visas in the Schengen Area" is stated in the proposal for amendment of regulation (EU) 2018/1806 - November 16, 2023.

TIME sources have said that there are thousands of people in the north who do not have Kosovo documents at all.

Serbian media have reported that Serbian civil society organizations in the north have supported the proposal, saying that not all Serbs, especially in the north, have the opportunity to be provided with Kosovo documents.

Sources in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo have said that the majority of those who have not been provided with Kosovar passports are veterans of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia who have not used this right they have to be naturalized.