Serbians, Macedonians and Montenegrins will no longer need visas to travel to Switzerland and the European Union as of December 19.
EU ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday decided to do away with visas for a maximum of 90 days within a six month period, as long as travellers also have biometric passports.
The decision also applies to the three non-EU countries – Switzerland, Norway and Iceland – which are part of the Schengen area, a group of 25 European states that allow visa-free travel across their internal borders.
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Swiss justice minister, said the decision "might be psychologically a bit difficult to communicate", but pointed out that the ruling applies only to tourist visas and holders will not be able to work in Switzerland.
Nationals from Bosnia and Albania still need a visa to come to EU countries and Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies