EU Grants Visa-Free Access to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The European Union has decided to lift the visa regime for citizens of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina but warned that the measure could be suspended if it is abused, Deutsche Welle informs.
Interior Ministers of the 27 EU member states unanimously agreed on Monday to eliminate the visa requirements for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina and now their citizens with biometric passports will be able to travel to the 25 EU countries that are in the Schengen zone (which excludes Ireland and the UK) for up to three months.
The decision was made despite the concerns of France, Germany and the Netherlands that there could be an increase of unfounded asylum claims from the two countries.
The European Commission has announced that it could “propose the suspension of visa-free travel” if the citizens were abusing it.
“It is of the utmost importance that Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to intensify their information campaign with the aim to properly explain to their citizens the meaning of short-term visa-free travel. A visa-free regime also comes with responsibilities,” Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for home affairs, said, as cited by Deutsche Welle.
The new regime will enter into force as early as mid-December.
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