Visa facilitation in the W-Balkans

posted by Julia on 2008/12/04 20:33

[ Western Balkans and EU ]

The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and King Baudouin Foundation (KBF) organise a conference on 10 December 2008 in Brussels on: “Does it really matter? Visa facilitation in the Western Balkans: Monitoring of the new agreements”. More information on the conference and the conference programme can be found here.

Here some background info from the ECAS webpage: 

"The Visa Facilitation Agreements (VFA) signed by the EU with five countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) came into force on the 1 January 2008. They were intended to facilitate “people to people” contacts between the citizens of the EU and WB and allow certain categories of citizens to travel and conduct business in the Schengen zone without over-burdensome administrative procedures. However, a monitoring conducted in the region by local organisations* has showed that the implementation of these agreements by EU member states is defective and that the VFAs are simply not achieving results for which they were designed. Moreover, striking differences in implementation of the VFAs between different EU member states have been recorded."

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*Organisations from Western Balkans that have conducted the monitoring in the region are: Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, European Movement, Albania; Vesta-Bosnia and Herzegovina, Centre for Civic Education-Montenegro and Citizens’ Pact for SEE-Serbia

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