News & Analysis

Czechs have emerging Europe’s most powerful passport

The Czech Republic continues to dominate emerging Europe in terms of offering visa-free travel to third countries.

According to the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index, the Czech Republic was ranked eighth on the global list, offering visa-free travel to 181 countries.

Second in emerging Europe, Lithuania was ranked ninth globally, offering visa-free travel to 180 countries.

Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia came in third in the region (and joint 10th globally): all three passports allow visa-free travel to 179 countries.

Hungary and Estonia are jointly ranked 16th on the global list with visa-free access to 178 countries.

They are followed by Poland (16th/172 countries), Romania (18th/169), Bulgaria (19th/168), Croatia (20th/167).

The regional ranking continues with Serbia (41st globally with 131 countries), Ukraine (44th/126 countries), North Macedonia (46th/123), Montenegro (47th/122) and Moldova (49th/119), Bosnia and Herzegovina (51st/116) and Albania (52nd/113).

Georgia tops the South Caucasian countries by offering access to 113 countries (ranked 52nd globally) while Azerbaijan and Armenia made the 78th and 84th spots in the ranking (with access to 66 and 60 countries respectively).

Ranked 69th globally, Belarus offers visa-free travel to 75 countries while Kosovo, ranked 100th, lags way behind with access to just 41 countries.

“The prospect of visa-waiver agreements with the EU has encouraged neighboring countries to adopt important reforms in areas such as civil and political rights, rule of law, and security,” Ömer Zarpli of the University of Pittsburgh said, introducing the latest edition of the report.