BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties has backed visa liberalization for citizens of Kosovo, amid continued opposition from several EU member states.
A total of 49 lawmakers on September 24 agreed to start talks with the European Council on the proposal of a visa waiver for Kosovo.
Sixteen deputies opposed the move and one abstained.
The full plenary chamber held similar votes in September 2018 and March 2019, but a renewed mandate to negotiate the issue with the European Council is now needed following EU general elections in May.
Visa liberalization for Kosovars remains contentious at the European Council, with sources telling RFE/RL under condition of anonymity that France and the Netherlands continue to be reluctant to grant the council a mandate to negotiate with parliament.
Kosovo remains the only country in the Western Balkans whose citizens still need a visa to travel to EU countries.