18 June 2019 Statement of the President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta
The President of the Republic of Albania, H. E. Ilir Meta has attentively followed all the stands kept and discussions being held during these times about the progress of the European integration process of Albania towards the European Union.
While all attention is focused on a possible positive decision to open Albania’s membership negotiations with the European Union, the President of the Republic points out with deep concern the risk threatening the Albanian citizens to be faced with the a new establishing of the Schengen visa regime for them.
Following the submission to the European Commission by the Kingdom of Netherlands to suspend visas, also yesterday’s announcement of the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos that warned about the measures which could be taken against Albania, alongside Venezuela and Colombia, this is a bell sounding the alarm for all.
I appeal and call upon all the respective and responsible state institutions to pursue this issue that holds and represents a great sensitivity to all Albanian citizens, with absolute priority.
Visa-free travel has been one of the greatest achievements, providing a direct impact on Albanians, being the people that have suffered the greatest and longest isolation in the region.
We all remember the long lines in front of embassies’ doors, with desperate family members looking for a chance to receive visas and meet their children, relatives, or an opportunity to study and travel abroad, etc.
I urge to them to urgently take all the necessary measures, and not to neglect or bypass any responsibility that would damage and take back this freedom already earned and won by the Albanian citizens!