The meeting underlined the importance for Kosovo to continue efforts in rule of law, public administration reform, and economic development and governance, as well as a reduction of unemployment.
Today’s meeting is part of the European Commission’s preparations for its 2015 report on Kosovo’s progress in delivering on its European reform agenda. The meeting focused heavily on Kosovo’s preparation for the entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, expected for next year. It is essential that Kosovo’s regulatory and supervisory institutions are staffed, equipped and operational before that time. It is equally important that Kosovo’s judiciary has the capacity and the resources to assume additional responsibilities by the time the current EULEX mandate ends in June 2016. Kosovo should also continue with its promising first steps towards comprehensive public administration reform. Economic development is a key priority for Kosovo; sustainable economic growth is the only way Kosovo can ensure its citizens can enjoy a viable perspective for themselves and future generations.
The Commission emphasized that today’s meeting did not sit in isolation and should not be seen as separate from Kosovo’s overall relations with the European Union. It reiterated that it was important that Kosovo establish the Specialist Chambers as per its international commitments; the Chambers are essential for Kosovo’s standing in the international community. The Commission also encouraged Kosovo to continue its constructive engagement in its dialogue with Belgrade. The dialogue is beneficial for Kosovo and for its citizens and as such it should be supported by all in Kosovo.
The meeting was opened by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and the Director for the Western Balkans at Directorate-General NEAR of the European Commission, Jean Eric Paquet.
Director of DG NEAR, Jean-Eric Paquet said:
“This is an important year for EU-Kosovo relations. We are finalising our discussions with Member States on Kosovo’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. The SAA will be a historic step and opens a new phase in the EU-Kosovo relations. It is essential that Kosovo is ready when it enters into force next year. I call on the Kosovo authorities to move forward on the Specialist Chambers, to continue to engage constructively in the dialogue with Serbia, and to press ahead with reforms in the areas of rule of law, public administration reform, economic development and governance, and the fight against unemployment in Kosovo.”
Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said:
“I strongly believe that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement will serve as a foundation for Kosovo’s integration process and is an opportunity for economic development. This agreement is important as it contributes to the strengthening of democracy and rule of law in Kosovo, contributes to political and economic stability, development of close political relations between Kosovo and EU institutions as well as with EU member states individualy, boosts the economic development in Kosovo as well as the harmonisation of the legislation with the Acquis and promotes regional cooperation. All these dimensions are esential to Kosovo’s development and prosperity.”
The Minister for European Integration, Bekim Çollaku said:
“Today we are closing a successful round of Dialogue of 7 sectoral meetings which the Kosovo Government and European Commission held in the first part of the year. Today’s meeting is an excellent opportunity to discuss the achieved progress over the past year from the European agenda. Today’s discussion focused on the functioning of the independent institutions, fight against organised crime, progress in judiciary reforms as well as issues that affect everyday lives of citizens like energy and environment. The achievements presented here today confirm that the 2015 is a year of consolidation of progress in our European agenda, which I believe will be followed with the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement as well as the finalisation of the dialogue for visa liberalisation.”
• The SAP Dialogue is the framework for the EC and the Kosovo administration to regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda. The meetings provide direct input into the European Commission’s yearly progress report.
• The SAP Dialogue monitors and accompanies Kosovo’s delivery on reforms and identifies the priorities. It also helps identify areas where the EU can assist Kosovo in this process.
• A total of seven areas are covered by sector meetings, which closely follow the format of the dialogue that the EU has with other candidates and potential candidates. The sector meetings are on 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.
• Sector 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. The conclusions from the meetings you can find at the EU Office in Kosovo website.
Last modified: August 11, 2022