The following is the full text of the statements made by Deputy Prime Kuçi, Minister of European Integration Çitaku and Enlargement Commissioner Fule:
Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuçi:
Allow me to express my pleasure at the meeting we just held with Commissioner Fule and to thank him for visiting the Republic of Kosovo.
Commissioner Fule’s visit is good news for our country and the fact that Commissioner Fule is meeting officials of the Republic of Kosovo twice a month, is a sign of our good cooperation.
Allow me to say that each meeting with Commissioner Fule involves a presentation of our achievements in the field of European integration, as well as taking on obligations which directly relate to integration.
Today, we talked about three concrete issues which I will briefly describe. The first related to the Stabilization and Association Agreement, and I can say that the Republic of Kosovo has met the short-term criteria and now we are in the phase of awaiting concrete steps from the European Commission in April. I believe that in the coming months, we will be able to start a process which will be of extraordinary importance for Kosovo. In this process, we will continue to fulfill mid-term criteria.
We also discussed the visa liberalization process, emphasizing especially the requirements that the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo must meet, as well as all other mechanisms in Kosovo, and in addition, we requested the acceleration of the dynamic on both sides for both processes, meaning that while we meet our obligations, EU institutions also ensure that this process is as fast, as short, and as effective as possible, and in compliance with our obligations.
The third unavoidable topic, relating to the Commissioner’s visit to the region, was about dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. I said, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, that the Government is willing to be constructive in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia tomorrow, and that the Government, and respectively the Prime Minister, is ready to reach an agreement between our two countries, with good intentions, to have peace, stability and the normalization of relations between our two countries.
Naturally, we are always conscious of respecting Kosovo’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity, the Constitutionand the legal order of our country.
We are working to this end and will be extremely careful. Allow me to express my admiration for the role the EU is playing, and especially that of Ashton in the dialogue, and for Commissioner Fule’s direct contribution to the European integration process and to dialogue.
We know that we have obligations we must carry out for the EU, but we are also convinced that the EU is ready to integrate Kosovo into Europe, which is our rightful place, and which is where we should be as a country, as well as a region as a whole.
Once again, allow me to welcome Mr. Fule and to thank him for visiting Kosovo.
Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku:
It is always a pleasure to meet Commissioner Fule, who despite the challenges which the enlargement policy faces today in the European Union, continues to remain a champion of including all the region’s countries as members in the big European family.
We assured the Commissioner that Kosovo will continue to work hard to ease his task and to assist him in being able to push forward Kosovo’s European agenda.
A relationship that has recently been defined by us, is now taking on a concrete form, after the Feasibility Study and the fulfillment of short-term criteria by our side. We anticipate the materialization of this relationship, and respectively entry into contractual relations by the signing of a Stabilization and Association Agreement, as the first step toward EU membership.
We are aware that we have a long road ahead of us. Kosovo continues to face challenges. We continue to share many problems with countries in the region. But we are very willing. There is no doubt at all that the practice of enlargement is based on lessons learned and Kosovo’s challenges are sometimes very large and complex.
However, it is important that at the end of this process, regardless of how long and challenging it is, Kosovo will have built all European values and principles within it.
Kosovo is very lucky to have a strong political consensus. I informed the Commissioner that meeting the short-term criteria in such a short period of time would not have been possible without the broad support of opposition parties for the European integration process.
In addition, we discussed the visa liberalization process, although this does not fall directly within Commissioner Fule’s brief.
The European Union, its office in Prishtina, and EULEX are of added value to Kosovo in this process. We have already prepared a joint roadmap so that we can jointly allocate tasks and fulfill them as quickly as possible.
Partnership is a key word and I am very satisfied with the partnership that we have with the Commission and with its structures in Prishtina.
Commissioner on Enlargement, Stefan Fule:
Good morning. I am very glad to be in Prishtina once again.
It is a great pleasure to be here today – at a key moment for Kosovo’s European future. If you have observed more frequent contact between Prishtina and Brussels, this indicates the level of commitment on both sides, to moving Kosovo forward on its European path.
I just met with my two colleagues, Deputy Prime Minister Kuçi and Minister Çitaku and I will soon meet with President Jahjaga. My main message to them and to all Kosovo is this – I support your efforts in dialogue with Serbia and I value the progress made in meeting short-term priorities deriving from the feasibility study for Stabilization and Association Agreement.
This progress is the result of hard work by Kosovo. It is essential that this rhythm is maintained and that it continues because it is on this basis that member states will decide in June on the next steps.
The coming days and weeks will be essential for EU-Kosovo relations. A possible agreement with Belgrade tomorrow and its application in the terrain will lay out a path for a positive conclusion in the Council’s meeting in June, about negotiations for a Stabilization and Association Agreement.
Prime Minister Thaçi has worked hard to reach this moment. Now he needs support from all Kosovo – in the interests of Kosovo and all of its citizens. Being European means being ready for compromise, and also for consensus.
I will soon deliver the same message to the National Council on European Integration and a joint meeting of the Assembly Committees on European Integration and Foreign Affairs.
Kosovo must show great courage now. More work is required in rule of law, the war against organized crime and corruption, electoral reform and economic development.
Continuing reform and improving relations are two sides of the same coin. Without them, it is not possible to have a thriving and flourishing Kosovo, at peace with itself and its neighbors and on the path toward Europe. I am sure that you will do it and you will have our constant support.
Last modified: August 16, 2022