Integrimi Evropian

European Integration


January 31, 2017

Kosovo and European Union held 1st Stabilization and Association Agreement Sub-committee on Internal Marked, Competition and Health Protection

On Tuesday, 31st of January 2017, representatives from Kosovo and the European Commission met in Brussels to discuss developments over the past year in the areas of consumer and health protection, movement of capital, financial services and company law, public procurement and free movement of services, intellectual property rights and competition policy. The discussion was held in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), which entered into force in April 2016. In all areas, the Commission and Kosovo agreed on the importance of implementing the relevant European Reform Agenda and Economic Reform Programme priorities as well as the recommendations from the Commission’s 2016 Report on Kosovo. As regards consumer protection, the parties agreed on the need to reinforce the level of awareness and protection of consumer rights. In this context, the Commission welcomed the planned adaptation of the legislative framework and encouraged the adequate involvement of consumer associations and other relevant stakeholders.

On health, both agreed that it is important that Kosovo establishes a sustainable, cost-effective and patient-centred health system, bringing it closer to internationally recognised quality and safety standards. With regards to the Health Insurance Fund, the Commission encouraged Kosovo to ensure that all necessary criteria (including a clear definition of the basic benefit package, thorough public consultation, etc.) are addressed before starting the collection of premiums. Kosovo was also encouraged to further align its legislation with the EU acquis.

On the movement of capital, financial services and company law, the Kosovo authorities updated the Commission on developments over the past year and both agreed on the need to increase efforts to fight economic and financial crime. The Commission reiterated its call for an increased focus on the insurance sector to promote fair competition practices and a level playing field in this area, as well as for improved standards in accounting, auditing and financial reporting.

On public procurement, the Commission welcomed positive developments on the further approximation with the EU acquis and the e-procurement platform presented by the Kosovo authorities. The Commission underlined the need to adopt Kosovo’s Strategy and Action Plan on Public Procurement. It also stressed the importance of improving transparency at all stages of public procurement, systematically monitoring implementation of tenders, strengthening the remedy system and ensuring that public procurement functions properly. The Commission also encouraged Kosovo to improve efficiency of centralized procurement and address the capacity limitations of the Central Procurement Agency.

On intellectual property rights (IPR), the Commission welcomed the appointment of the Director of the Agency for Industrial Property and the Agency’s efforts in addressing the backlog of IPR applications. Kosovo again underlined its commitment to reach, within 5 years from the entry into force of the SAA, a level of protection and enforcement of IPR rights similar to that existing in the EU.

Finally, on competition, the Commission welcomed the measures taken to make the Kosovo Competition Authority (KCA) operational, while underlining the need to strengthen the capacities of the Agency to fulfill its mandate, conduct investigations and eliminate uncompetitive practices. With regard to state aid, both parties agreed on the importance of ensuring the operational independence of the State Aid Commission and improving the effectiveness of its control of state aid at all levels.

Background information

• The Stabilisation and Association Agreement is the framework for the EU and the Kosovo administration to regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda.

• SA Committee and Sub-Committee meetings are co-chaired by the European Commission and Kosovo. Each meeting results in jointly agreed follow-up actions to be taken by the Kosovo authorities. The conclusions from the meetings are available on the website of the EU Office in Kosovo There are seven areas covered through sectorial meetings of sub-Committees, 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. Two Special Groups cover the reform of the public administration and normalisation of relations with Serbia.

• Each sub-Committee meeting monitors and accompanies Kosovo’s delivery on reforms and identifies how the EU can assist in this process. The meetings also provide direct input into the European Commission’s annual reports.

For more information, contact:

European Union Office: Syzana BYTYQI JAGXHIU, 038 5131 329

Last modified: August 10, 2022

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