Monday, January 11, 2010

Balkans travelling to the EU

 In December some rules changed for citizens of Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. They can now travel without visas to countries participating in the Schengen Agreement. Citizens need a biometric passport but can enter and travel around Europe much more easily. A visa is still required for the UK. Many Serbians do not even own passports and are discourage by the cost of travelling and the time it takes to process visas. Now, this is all changing. With border control still strict, citizens have more options for travelling away from the Balkans. While things still remain for those travelling to the Balkans, we will now start to see more and more Serbians, Macedonians, and Montenegroians? travelling to and fro through Europe.

The citizens are of course overjoyed to have more freedom and easier access to the European Union, some airlines offered promotional flights to celebrate the achievement. In return, these countries had to agree to beef up airport security and passport control, limiting illegal immigration and crime in the meantime. Things don't really change for European Union citizens travelling to the Balkans, but it is certainly nice that we will be seeing their faces around more often than before.