Grlić Radman: Kosovo deserves visa liberalization

Northern Macedonia and Albania have met all the criteria to open accession talks as soon as possible, and Kosovo deserves visa liberalization, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

“Albania and Northern Macedonia have met all the criteria and we believe that accession negotiations should be opened with them as soon as possible,” said Minister Grlić Radman after arriving at the General Affairs Council meeting.

The General Affairs Council, composed of the foreign or European affairs ministers of the member states, is discussing preparations for the next EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, migration, enlargement and the Stabilization and Association Process in Luxembourg. . The Portuguese Presidency will report to the Ministers on the work of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

One of the most important points is the Article 7 debate on the rule of law in Hungary and Poland. Intergovernmental accession conferences with Serbia-Montenegro will be held on the outskirts of the General Affairs Council, but without opening or closing any chapters. The so-called intergovernmental political conferences on accession are a new phenomenon that did not exist before and is foreseen by the new methodology of EU enlargement negotiations.

Minister Grlić Radman said that Kosovo should get visa liberalization as soon as possible and that Croatia strongly supports it.

Croatia would like to discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina’s candidate status as soon as possible, said Minister Grlić Radman, and reiterated the need to change the election law in that country in order to ensure the equality of the three constituent peoples.

On Monday, Grlić Radman attended a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. After the meeting, he said that the European Union supports the democratic transition and pro-democracy forces in Belarus, against whose regime a fourth round of sanctions has been imposed.

“The EU will support pro-democracy forces, mainly civil society and vulnerable groups in Belarus,” said Minister Grlić Radman after the meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Belarus was one of the topics on the agenda of the ministerial meeting, to which Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovska was also invited.

EU foreign ministers decided on Monday to impose sanctions on 78 individuals and eight legal entities from Belarus for serious human rights abuses, repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists.

The ministers also discussed relations with Russia, with which the EU currently has very bad relations.

“Relations are not what we would like to have, but the responsibility for mutual security directs both sides towards communication,” said Minister Grlić Radman, reaffirming the EU’s approach to Moscow, which on the one hand provides for punishment. of unacceptable Russian moves and stressing the need the door to dialogue should be left open.

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