Visa Abolishment Campaign

December 12th, 2006

The internet presentation of the Visa Abolishment Campaign, that has been run for several years by the Citizens’ Pact for South Eastern Europe will be held on Tuesday, November 12th, at 19h, in the O3one Gallery. The Citizens’ Pact is an NGO from Novi Sad that supports a network of the same name which numbers more than a hundred NGOs and municipalities from all of the countries within the region. At the end of last year, the Citizens’ Pact published a book “The Best Stories from Visa Queues” with twenty best stories selected after a competition where young people from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania could participate. The book was presented before the European Parliament in March this year. This spring, the Citizens’ Pact led the “No to 60 Euros!” activity against the rise in the price of the Schengen visas for the citizens of the Western Balkans. In July, at the EXIT 06 festival, the Citizens’ Pact held a discussion called “Myths and Legends about the Schengen White List – When Will We Travel Like Normal People?” where one of the participants was the European Union Enlargement Commissioner, Ollie Rehn.

The visa issue, internet presentation of the Campaign and new activities within the Campaign will be presented to you by Hedvig Morvai – Horvath, Director of the Citizens’ Pact and Rajko Božić, Coordinator of the Visa Abolishment Campaign.

At the event, visitors will have an opportunity to play the visa-game created especially for the Campaign, where a player can win, even symbolically, so much desired Schengen Visa. The guests will be offered a non-alcoholic cocktail with music by DJ Dovlaman.

The European Commission has just initiated discussions about visa relaxation with the Western Balkans countries. Although these negotiations are very important, the relaxations shall have an impact on a very small percentage of citizens. The practice shows that more than twenty different documents can be required from someone applying for a visa. Visa expenses, procurement of the documents and translations can reach the amount of the average salary in the countries of the Western Balkans, not counting the days lost queuing for the visa. The visa regime is especially hard for young people who very often do not have a document that proves that they have immovable assets or regular income. Most young people from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania have never left their countries. Those who are expected to build a new and better Balkans are simply not allowed to see the functioning societies.

:: Visa Abolishment Campaign
:: December 12th, 2006, at 19h