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Kosovo government and EC discuss social and employment policies, education, research, information society and media in Pristina today

January 29, 2016

Pristina, 28 January 2016 – Following yesterday’s meeting on justice, freedom and security, representatives of the Kosovo Government and the European Commission today discussed developments over the past year in the areas of education and training, labour and social welfare, electronic communications, information society and audio-visual policy, science and innovation. The discussion was held in Pristina in the framework of the regular Stabilisation and Association Process Dialogue.

On education, the Commission stressed the importance for Kosovo to continue efforts to ensure the autonomy and independent operation of higher education institutions and to adopt a new law for higher education based on international standards. The Commission recalled the need to prioritise quality assurance at all levels from pre-school to university education, including by providing the necessary funding. Access to quality education for children with disabilities and minority communities needs to be strengthened. Accurate and contextualised data is essential as the basis for future policies. Kosovo should also ensure adherence to objective and proper implementation of rules governing staff engagement and career development in the higher education sector. The Commission and Kosovo authorities agreed that Kosovo would provide 3 year roadmaps on rollout of curricula, teacher training as well as on reforms in the Vocational Education and Training.

On research and innovation, the Commission stressed the importance of good research and innovation capacity at national level to increase competitiveness and integration into the European Research Area and participation in Horizon 2020 programme.

On employment, the parties agreed that there is a need to create a synergy between various state agencies, laws and strategies, to ensure that there is an increase in employment opportunities and increased support by Kosovo for employment promotion measures. The European Commission encouraged Kosovo to implement its 2015-2020 employment sector strategy, to monitor the results and to ensure that the new employment agency becomes operational. The parties recognised that greater efforts are needed to enforce the law on labour and legislation on health and safety at work, especially as regards the issue of the insufficient number of labour inspectors.

With regard to social welfare, the European Commission stressed the need for Kosovo to implement the Law on the Economic and Social Council as a key step in ensuring a substance and quality social dialogue.

On the information society, the Commission stressed the need for the Kosovo authorities to ensure that adequate budgetary resources are made available in the field of information society services, in particular for the implementation of the eGovernment strategy and services and the cyber-security strategy. The Kosovo authorities will ensure the minimum capacity of the national Computer Emergency Response Team in line with the recommendations of ENISA.

With regard to Electronic Communications and Media, Kosovo authorities will ensure that the digital switchover is implemented in full as a matter of national priority by the end of 2016. To this end the Government is to adopt the Digital Switchover Strategy as soon as possible and the Strategy and Law on Digitalisation is to be implemented by the Independent Media Commission. The Kosovo authorities will provide information on the issue of sustainable financing of RTK before summer 2016, as agreed during yesterday’s dialogue on justice, freedom and security. Kosovo Government will secure the necessary budget for continuation of the Minority Media Fund.

Background information

The SAP Dialogue is the framework for the EU 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 report. The SAP Dialogue monitors and accompanies Kosovo’s delivery on reforms, in particular with regard to the priorities defined in the European Partnership, and identifies how the EU can assist in this process.

There are eight areas covered in sectoral meetings and they follow closely the format of the dialogue that the EU has with other candidates and potential candidates. The sectoral 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 and Special Group on Public Administration Reform.

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. The conclusions from the meetings are posted at the website of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative.

Last modified: August 11, 2022

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