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Table of contents
  • Context (TH): Kosovo recently obtained visa-free access to the Schengen zone in Europe.

Kosovo

  • It is a self-declared independent country in the Balkans region of Europe.
  • It is a landlocked country also, it is the smallest country in the Balkans.
  • Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
  • Kosovo lacks legal statehood, according to the UN, and is denied recognition by Russia and China.
  • The Balkans is the geographic name of southeastern Europe. The name is derived from the Balkan Mountain range.
  • Balkanisation is the division or fragmentation of a larger sovereign state into smaller, often ethnically similar, states.

Kosovo

Schengen Zone

  • The Schengen zone is named after the Luxembourg village, where the agreement was signed in 1985.
  • It is an area encompassing countries that have officially abolished border controls at their mutual borders. It is the world’s largest free movement area.
  • It mostly functions as a single jurisdiction under a common visa policy for international travel purposes.
  • Of the 27 EU member states, 23 participate in the Schengen Area.
    • EU states not part of the Schengen Area: Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ireland
    • Non-EU states part of the Schengen Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway.
  • Croatia, an EU member since 2013, joined Schengen in 2023.
  • Romania and Bulgaria, EU members since 2007, will have partial Schengen entry in March.
  • Importance:
    • People from any country enjoy the advantage of travelling freely across multiple European nations using a single Schengen visa.
    • EU member states see visa-free borderless travel, coupled with the unified currency adopted by 20 EU countries, as a prominent symbol of European integration.

    Schengen zone

  • Schengen crisis: The reintroduction of border checks as a chain of reactions during the 2015 migrant crisis.
  • Dublin Regulation: it is a law that determines which country in Europe or Dublin countries is responsible for deciding your asylum application.
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