Brussels, 27 February 2013 – Representatives from Kosovo and the European Commission met in Brussels on Wednesday to take stock of Kosovo’s progress on trade, industry and small-and-medium-sized enterprise (SME) policy, customs and taxation. The meeting focused in particular on trade, which is a key priority for Kosovo to address in its preparations for negotiations of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union.
In its feasibility study of October 2012, the European Commission identified a number of priorities that Kosovo has to address if it is to be ready for negotiations of an SAA. The EU will decide whether to launch these negotiations later this spring. Trade is a key priority for an SAA. Kosovo has to restructure its Ministry for Trade and Industry, put in place a mechanism to lead and coordinate trade negotiations, and prepare an impact analysis of possible effects of an Agreement on the Kosovo economy.
Today’s meeting took place as part of the EU’s Stabilisation and Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) with Kosovo. The Commission acknowledged progress made towards meeting the short term priorities related to trade, including internal reforms in the Ministry, appointments, establishment of a mechanism to lead and coordinate trade negotiations, including a consultation mechanism with civil society. It also received a presentation of the latest version of Kosovo’s impact analysis.
Discussions also touched upon customs and taxation, including the backlog of appeals made against decisions by the Kosovo customs service.
The European Commission used the opportunity to present its new Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME), which will run from 2014 to 2020
Follow-up to the operational conclusions of this meeting will help determine further progress for Kosovo in the EU’s Stabilisation and Association Process.
The SAP Dialogue is a framework under which the European Commission and the Kosovo administration regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda. The SAP Dialogue monitors and accompanies Kosovo’s delivery on reforms, and identifies how the EU can assist in this process. Sectoral and plenary SAP Dialogue meetings are co-chaired by the European Commission and the government. Each meeting results in jointly agreed follow-up actions to be taken by the Kosovo authorities.
There are seven areas covered in sectoral meetings and they follow closely the format of the dialogue that the EU has with other candidates and potential candidates. These seven sectors are:
– Justice, Freedom and Security
– Innovation, Information Society, Social Policy, Education and Culture
– Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxation
– Internal Market, Competition, Consumer and Health Protection
– Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Food Safety
– Transport, Environment, Energy, Regional Development
– Economic and Financial Issues, Statistics
The time between the meetings allows for the implementation of the recommendations and agreed follow-up actions. A plenary meeting, where the reform priorities will be discussed, is expected to take place in July 2013. The conclusions of the meetings are public and available on the EU Office’s website and http://www.mei-ks.net/.
Last modified: August 16, 2022