Friday, March 30, 2007

Last round of negotiations on EU visa regime due in April

Skopje. The new and most likely the last round of negotiations with the European Commission on facilitation of the visa regime for Macedonian citizens will take place in mid April, Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Shpresa Jusufi told Makfax.
She added that the third round of negotiations will be of technical nature, same as the previous two.
At the beginning of his three-day visit to Macedonia, on Monday, the Director General of the European Commission’s Enlargement Directorate General, Michael Leigh, said that all Western Balkan's countries are due sign agreements on facilitation of the visa regime in May.
Until the launch of the third round of negotiations, the internal consultations among EU member-countries are expected to be completed. EC is seeking for guidelines on the manner of continuation of the negotiations with Skopje's authorities.
Macedonian side set out the negotiations on this issue last November. Macedonia requested mitigation of the requirements for visa issuance for broader category of citizens, issuance of multiple visas with prolonged deadline, canceling of the visa issuance fee and setting a concrete deadline for full liberalization of the visa regime.
According to the announcements, the agreement on facilitation, which is due to come into force by the end of 2007, would be valid for all EU members, except for Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark.

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