The vote for the border agreement was one of the most important prerequisites for the Kosovan state, for the EU and NATO perspectives of the country as well as for a visa-free entry into the EU, said the IRE Board Member Lukas Mandl, Member of the European Parliament. The two former Yugoslav republics, Kosovo and Montenegro, signed a border agreement in 2015. Montenegro has already adopted the agreement some time ago.
Lukas Mandl, IRE-Board Member and Member of the European Parliament
Lukas Mandl welcomed the vote and at the same time referred to the advantages of visa-free regime for the Western Balkans. “I congratulate the Kosovar population on this milestone. (…) Of course, the visa-free regime is also crucial for the economic rise of Kosovo.” At the same time, Mandl, who is also a member of the Bosnia-Kosovo delegation of the EU Parliament and president of the Austrian-Kosovan Friendship Society, said: “The circumstances of the parliamentary treatment show how urgently and sustainably important the international community’s desire for development is the rule of law”.
IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger welcomed the approval of the Kosovo Parliament during the debate on his report on the EU’s Western Balkans strategy on 22nd of March 2018 in the plenary session of the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. He also expressed his disappointment that the extreme nationalist opposition was violently trying to prevent the vote through the undemocratic and un-parliamentary use of tear gas. “These people still have to learn a lot about parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in order to reach European standards”, Schausberger said.