Dnevni avaz: The Slovenian representative in the European Parliament (EP) and a reporter for liberalization of visa regime for the countries of Western Balkans, Tanja Fajon in conversation for "Dnevni avaz" has said that at the session of the EP on November 11 and 12 – expected has been the decision for the abolishment of visas for the citizens of BiH and Albania – in July next year at the latest.
Member States reserved
– I expect that all the countries of Western Balkans, including Albania and BiH, will at the next session receive a strong support of the EP. As you already know, I have been trying to quicken the process of visa liberalization for BiH and have received a support from the committee AFET and LIBE. But, we must be aware that the EP has only an advisory role and that at the end the Member States are the ones, who should show a political willingness – has been pointed out by Fajon. She has also admitted that "as long as the EP tries to quicken the process, there are reserves in several larger Member States on visa liberalization for BiH". – I would not mention which countries those are. I am afraid that the future Spanish presiding by the EU will not assist in achieving the goal of the EP. I believe that the best weapon for BiH is to continue with its readiness towards fulfilling the rest of the goals from the Road Map – Fajon has said. The Slovenian representative in the EP has expressed her deep sadness over taking BiH out from the July’s proposal of the European Commission for visa liberalization in January 2010, by warning that this hard technical decision has a strong political impact and puts Bosniaks in a very hard situation.
– BiH has made a detailed progress in previous weeks and I hope that this country will soon get closer to Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, if possible – at the beginning of summer next year. From the other side, it is realistically to expect that these three countries will get into a non-visa regime already from December 19, this year. The Slovenian initiative of abolishing visas for the citizens of these three countries before the catholic Christmas and allowing them to travel freely during the upcoming New Year holidays has been supported by all Member States. The Commission should in the upcoming days confirm that Serbia and Montenegro have fulfilled the rest of the conditions. But, as far as I know, the final estimate for these countries will be positive – she has said. When speaking of the Butmir process, Fajon has said that it would not be correct to use the visa liberalization as a tool for guessing during political conversations in Butmir.
First good news
Fajon has pointed out that she expects that the EC will send a mission of experts to BiH by the end of this year, and that this should be the first good news for our country. Other good news, as she has said, should come once our country receives a positive final grade along with the proposal for the abolishment of visas in Spring of next year. Because of that, she has said that it is really important that the “political situation in country does not fall down in the upcoming months”.