In the opening speech of the meeting, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi, stated: “The start of negotiations for Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the Republic of Kosovo and the European Union makes this day, with full meaning – historical. It is a historical day because today we are opening a new chapter of our country’s integration process and a new irreversible process is starting that take place only once in the history of Kosovo. Today we commence a process that leads us towards EU membership. This moment corresponds entirely with strategic vision of our country to become a member of the EU and NATO, today European Union is fulfilling the promise made to Kosovo by providing a clear perspective of membership and therefore placing the state of Kosovo on an equal level with all the countries in the region. I express my highest consideration for all the EU member states capitals, which have provided support for this important step in relationship of EU and the state of Kosovo.”
On his part, Mr. Joost Korte stated: “Today we commence the negotiations for Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo. Today date is recognition of the progress that took place in Kosovo in recent years and months. Commencing of negotiations marks a new phase in our relations. Today we have presented to Kosovo our offer for the first titles of SAA, we have started with the most complex issues, specifically titles IV, V, and VI that covers the trade and approximation of legislation. Now, the Kosovo negotiating team must provide us with their opinion about our offer and then negotiate and agree all agreement details. SAA will be a substantial agreement between Kosovo and the EU and as such it will regulate important aspects of our relationship, such as: political dialogue, justice and internal affairs, matters of trade, agriculture, social and economical development, environment, etc. I have to say that the European Union is very ambitious and today we agreed on an intensive calendar of negotiations for official and technical discussions. We expect to conclude the negotiations by the end of the spring next year and then start the approval process on the agreed text within the institutions of the European Union.”
After the first negotiation meeting of the SAA, Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku held a press conference. During the press conference, Minister Çitaku stated: “Today we held the first negotiating meeting of Stabilisation and Association Agreement. I would like to thank my interlocutor and counterpart from the European Commission, chief negotiator Joost Korte for successful meeting and fruitful discussions that took place today. The importance of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement is the fact that the SAA will be the foundation of our political, economical and legal relation until the final act of Kosovo’s membership in the European Union. It is encouraging that in front of us we have an agreement that will include all the traditional elements of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Today we opened the negotiations for titles IV, V and VI, while on 27th November we will open the negotiations on all remaining titles of SAA. Ministry of European Integration already started to analyze the EU’s offer, and starting from tomorrow the first internal coordination meeting with all the relevant institutions will be held. This will provide the basis for conducting negotiating group meetings with the European Union starting from December this year.”
European Council, in December of last year, has confirmed the progress and the possibility of opening SAA negotiations between Kosovo and the European Union. This option is conditioned with the obligation of Kosovo to fulfil the short-term criteria outlined in the Feasibility Study.
European Commission, in April of this year, has confirmed that Kosovo has fulfilled the short-term criteria’s in the areas of: Rule of Law, Public Administration, Minority Rights and Trade.
In June, considering the fulfilment of short-term criteria’s, the European Council assessed the achievements and confirmed the commencing of the negotiations for Stabilization and Association Agreement.
Negotiation of Stabilisation and Association Agreement is the first step within the European Union accession process.
Last modified: August 15, 2022