TIRANA – The Regional Youth Cooperation Office applauds an adopted decision of the Government of Serbia to enable citizens of Albania to enter the territory of Serbia without a travel document, with a valid biometric ID card. The decision was made on Thursday, 19 November 2020.
RYCO also welcomes the official statement of the Government of Serbia which reads that the implementation of this decision will create additional preconditions for further development of economic, scientific, educational, sports and cultural cooperation between the two Contracting Parties as well as that it will provide additional opportunities for the development of good neighbourly relations between the Western Balkans, which RYCO full-heartedly supports.
RYCO also invites the Government of Albania to reciprocally respond to the decision of the Government of Serbia and allow citizens of Serbia to enter the territory of Albania without a travel document, with a valid biometric ID card.
As reconciliation, mobility and exchange are at the core of RYCO’s work, we commend the efforts to change the political and legislative environment for young people to engage in mobility and exchange with each other across the Western Balkans. Moreover, we invite the other Western Balkan governments to foster good neighbourly relations in this way, especially the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* among which a visa regime is not serving the interest of young people to meet and cooperate thus preventing them from creating a better region.
RYCO strongly believes that young people should be creating a culture of mobility, intercultural exchange, and reconciliation. Moreover, they should be active contributors to democratic development, social and economic prosperity, and European integration in an increasingly open Western Balkans region. Finally, Contracting Parties in the Western Balkans should be providing proactive support to youth exchange and youth engagement within the Contracting Parties, and across the region.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence