Trade, industry and SME policy, customs and taxation, and free movement of goods were the main topics discussed at the Stabilisation and Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) meeting on Tuesday, 21 April in Pristina. The meeting took stock of the main developments in these areas, which feature prominently in Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and the Economic Reform Programme.
Among the issues raised during the meeting, the Kosovo’s trade integration, Kosovo – EU trade balance and the plans to approach the WTO, were discussed. In addition, Kosovo presented the state of play in services negotiations within Cefta and Free Trade Agreement with Turkey.
In the area of Customs and Taxation, the administrative capacities and performance of both authorities were discussed. After last year’s important progress in solving the backlog of cases within the Independent Review Board, an accumulating backlog of cases in the fiscal divisions of the basic courts was noted. Stronger fight against informal economy was identified as key to further economic development. The European Commission encouraged Kosovo to adopt the necessary legal framework that will take into account the evaporation of petrol products upon their import.
As regards the Industry sector and SME development, preparations for the upcoming 2015/2016 SME Policy Index in the Western Balkans and Turkey was discussed. In addition Kosovo presented the activities and priorities in the area of improving access to finance and the removal of administrative barriers to business. The state of play in the implementation of the private sector development strategy was also touched upon.
Within the free movement of goods, progress achieved and follow up actions were identified in the areas of standardisation, conformity assessment, accreditation, metrology and market surveillance.
The SAP Dialogue meetings, the conclusions of which feed into the next Progress Report, are organised together with the Ministry for European Integration.
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
Last modified: August 12, 2022