Von der Leyen reassures Kosovo on EU visa liberalization


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday reaffirmed support for Kosovo’s aspiration for EU visa liberalization.

“I think Kosovo deserves the visa liberalization,” she said at a press conference with President Vjosa Osmani in Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

“We have now reaffirmed that you have fulfilled all the necessary criteria and we stand by it. Now, our task is to convince the whole European Council. Many members of the European Council are on your side.”

Von der Leyen underlined that the EU “is more committed than ever to the enlargement process.”

“We will support you as well as possible to join us in the EU. For that, I know a lot of topics are still to be tackled … (but) I am very confident that by working together, we will move forward and one day you will be a member of the EU,” she added.

The top EU official announced an emergency grant of €75 million ($75 million) to help Kosovo deal with the spiraling energy crisis in Europe, adding that the disbursement process should be finalized by January.

Von der Leyen also unveiled a €500 million investment grant for the entire Western Balkans region.

“This is an investment in renewables first and foremost, but also in energy connections throughout Europe, more energy efficiency,” she said.



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