Integrimi Evropian

Kosovo takes Croatia’s experience and best practices on the SAA implementation

November 25, 2015

Prishtina, 25 November – The two-day policy conference titled ‘Stabilisation and Association Agreement: What can Kosovo benefit from the Croatian Experience?’ started today in Prishtina. The conference organized by the Ministry of European Integration and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office in Kosovo and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Prishtina, is aimed at exchange of experiences with Croatian counterparts and experts on EU accession.

Organized in the eve of entry into force of the Kosovo – EU SAA expected to happen in the near future. This conference has brought together over three hundred representatives of all relevant stakeholders, both domestic and international, for substantial discussion on implementation of this Agreement, with a view to allowing Kosovan stakeholders to take Croatia’s best practice in this regard and utilizing them for the next key milestones in the rest of its road towards the EU.

The conference was opened with keynote remarks by Mr. Ramadan Ilazi, Deputy Minister of European Integration, who pointed out that implementation of the SAA will require comprehensive reforms of Kosovo’s political and economic system, which will, in turn, necessitate involvement of all stakeholders in this process. He also underlined that Kosovo will greatly benefit from SAA particularly economically, through market liberalisation with the EU and by enhancing competitiveness of enterprises.

Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kosovo stressed out the importance of the cooperation of all parties involved stating that this two day conference is the result of the close cooperation of the Ministry for European Integration with the Croatian Embassy, which began in 2013 through the engagement of UNDP Regional Advisors’ who’s role was to provide information for countries in the region who are at various stages of EI process

Mr. Mladen Glavina, the charge d’affaires in the Croatian Embassy in Kosovo during the conference stated that the Croatia’s experience in the implementation of the SAA, as a country which has concluded the EU negotiation cycle, is relevant and therefore it would be a pleasure to provide such experience to Kosovo.

Ms. Marija Kapitanović, Head of the Sector for South-East Europe at the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs stated that the SAA is a very important step in the path toward EU integration since it is the first contractual agreement with the EU which entails the institutional, political and economical aspect. According to Ms. Kapitanović, the implementation of SAA implies the commencement of structural reforms.

His Excellency Mr. Jan Braathu, Norwegian Ambassador in Kosovo in his address said: “We cooperate with the EU and its member states because we share a common set of values and because we need joint solutions to faced challenges. We cooperate because it is in our own national interest to do so”.

Mr. Libor Chlad, Deputy Head of Operations at the EU Office in Kosovo stated that the SAA opens a new and exciting stage in the EU-Kosovo relations because it establishes contractual relations entailing mutual rights and obligations.

According to Mr. Chlad the SAA aims to progressively establish a free trade area which will enable new business opportunities for the two sides.

Moreover, the stated that the European Union will continue to support Kosovo’s institutions in strengthening the regulatory framework in accordance with EU’s best practices and standards. For this purpose, EUR 645.5 million have been allocated to Kosovo within the Pre-accession assistance 2020.

Mr. Gëzim Kasapolli, Adviser on European Integration to the Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo spoke on the importance of the SAA, whereby he considered that the signing and approval of this agreement by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo marks one of the most important events after the proclamation of independence of Kosovo. He also informed that the procedures for building and strengthening the administrative capacities of the Assembly of Kosovo have already commenced, and they will be the pillars of guaranteeing the quality and effective implementation of European legislation in Kosovo.

Last modified: August 11, 2022

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