Acting Foreign Minister explains what happens after Dutch vote suspend visa-free travel

17/04/2019 20:29

The acting Albanian Foreign Minister, Gent Cakaj, said that the decision of the Dutch Parliament to bring back visa for Albanian citizens is politically motivated, reflecting the political climate in the Netherlands and the political tendencies before the European Parliament elections, rather than the recent developments in Albania.

“We must focus on the data of the European Commission, which are in favor of Albania, and not on the momental public perceptions of the member countries”, Cakaj said.

But what happens after this decision?

“This is a very complicated process. After the motion in the Dutch Parliament, it will be up to the government to take the case to the Commission. The Commission can activate the mechanism that suspends the visa travel for Albanians if there is significant growth of illegal emigration; a considerable growth of asylum seekers; if the public security of member countries is at risk; if there is a growth of criminal activity; then demanding to take Albania back to the position when there were conditions to fulfill for the visa liberalization. The politically based arguments brought up by the Dutch Parliament are not valid”, Cakaj said.

“It has been confirmed by the Minister of Justice and Security, in this session when the MPs voted the decision. We trust that the European Commission will reject the claims of the Dutch Parliament, and the visa liberalization process for Albania will continue”, the Minister said.

The Minister also notes that this December, the report of the European Commission noted that Albania fulfilled the conditions for continuing the visa liberalization. Not only that, but the Minister expects Albania to start the EU accession negotiations.


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