The Dutch government asked the European Commission on May 31 to suspend visa-free travel for Albanian citizens over concerns about organised crime.
The decision came more than a month after the Dutch parliament voted in favour of a proposal to restore the visa regime with Albania, due to the growing number of crimes committed by the Albanian mafia. Albanian citizens have been able to travel free to EU countries since December 2010.
The letter was signed by the Dutch permanent representative to the EU, Robert de Groot, the Schengen Visa info site reported.
The Dutch government asked the European Commission to undertake such a step in consultation with the other EU member states.
In the letter, the government explained that since 2015, the Netherlands has experienced a substantial increase in serious crime offences linked with Albanian citizens and crime gangs including drug trafficking (mostly cocaine), money laundering and trafficking of human beings.
Following the letter of notification, the European Commission will assess whether it will need to take action and then will inform the European Parliament and the European Council of the results of the evaluation.