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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

When Visa-Free Travel becomes Difficult to Achieve and Easy to Lose: The EU Visa-Free Dialogues after the EU’s Experience with the Western Balkans

Florian Trauner
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Florian Trauner
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

In the wake of the visa liberalisation for Western Balkan states, the sudden increase of Balkan asylum seekers has become a salient issue in the EU. This article elaborates on how this issue has made the EU alter its instruments of Visa Free Travel. With regard to the pre-visa liberalisation phase, the EU now places more emphasis on issues relating to the fundamental rights and social inclusion of marginalised groups, in particular Roma. The most significant modification to the EU’s approach is probably the fact that the EU has developed a structured post-visa liberalisation phase. With its post-visa liberalisation monitoring and the visa safeguard clause, the EU has established new (lower level) instruments to keep track of and push for further reforms post-visa liberalisation.
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