Below you may find the speech of the Minister:
Honoured President, Ms. Jahjaga
Honoured President of the Assembly, Mr. Veseli
Honoured Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa
Representative of the European Union, Mr. Zhbogar,
Representatives of institutions and civil society,
Honoured ladies and gentleman,
Being the minister responsible for coordinating the European integration process, it is a pleasure to start the day, and the week, with issues related to the country’s European agenda. This proves our commitment as institutions to advance the agenda, and transform 2015 into a European year for Kosovo.
As you know, a few days ago the Panel of EU commissioners approved the SAA, thus moving the process to the EU Council, and opening the path to the singing of the Agreement during the summer of this year and commencement of its implementation in early 2016.
A few months ago, specifically in January, when the National Council for European Integration was convened, we were seriously challenged by the wave of irregular migration of the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo toward EU countries, and this topic dominated the discussion both within our country and our European partners.
During the months from our previous meeting, we managed to stop this trend and repatriate around 5000 citizens. We need to assure the European Committee and EU member states that we have addressed the factors inciting migration and that we have adequate institutional capacities to prevent illegal migration of our citizens toward Schengen Area member countries
Also, since the last meeting of the National Council for European Integration, we have intensified communication with the European Commission and EU member states in the view of adequate information and coordination with regard to the further steps in implementing our common priorities. I have the impression that never before have we had more visits, exchanges and communication with the European Commission than in the recent months, and in all of their visits to Prishtina,
Commissioners Hahn, Avramopulos and the High Representative forForeign Affairs Ms. Mogherimi committed to support in undertaking reforms in the view of the European Integration process.
The Ministry for European Integration continued with its coordinative role, and organizng regular meetings with responsible institution for implementation, aiming to address the remaining criteria in the EU visa liberalisation process.
Please allow me to inform you that we have already started to prepare the final report, which we hope to enrich with additional information during the upcoming days.
However, without the intention of underestimating the work and results reached hitherto, based on the data from the continuous monitoring of relevant institutions in the fulfilment of obligation in this field, we must admit that the report as it is does not fulfil the remaining criteria. This situation should be taken very seriously, and we should, therefore, use the upcoming days and weeks to implement the remaining criteria, which are known to all relevant institutions.
During the week we expect the adoption of the Regulation on Managing the Reintegration Program and the Judicial Law Package. Given that the European agenda enjoys a full institutional and citizenry consensus, I believe that the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo will proceed with accelerated procedures in the adoption of the Law’s package, which are related to the visa liberalisation.
Additionally, the border demarcation process with Montenegro must be completed, the advanced civil status system, including the civil status certificates with high security elements should be launched, the Strategy against Trafficking on Human Beings should be adopted; the detention centre for foreigners, as well as the Information System on Criminal Records should be functionalized, etc.
Moreover, responsible institutions must be able to demonstrate in practice, all the criteria reached hitherto, before the EU assessment mission who is expected to occur during the summer.
Also, we should be aware that our work does end upon the sending of the final report to Brussels, but rather we should be consistent in our commitment until the issuance of the decision for initiating EU’s internal procedures for amending the Regulation 549/2001 which places Kosovo in the list of countries that can travel to EU without visa, and also prepare to manage the later stages.
Kosovo and Kosovo citizens must convince EU member states that they shall not misuse the right of movement without visa to the Schengen area countries.
Based on the daily communication that I have with representatives of the European Commission and EU member states, I noticed a positive ambience to continue with the recommendation for lifting the visa requirements for our citizens, however, this will occur only if we manage to fulfil these few remaining criteria.
Therefore, considering that we are in the last kilometre of the process, we should be even more active in order to facilitate the decision-making in Brussels otherwise this process will lose its meaning and would discourage EU’s friendly countries and the European Commission, who is very interested to include Kosovo in the Schengen white list.
Thank you for your attention!
Last modified: August 11, 2022