Prishtina, 31 May 2019 – Minister of European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha, in a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration, led by the Chairperson of the Committee, Blerta Deliu-Kodra, informed the Committee on the Country Report published by the European Commission.
Minister Hoxha emphasized that the Report praises the achievements, emphasizes the shortcomings and lists the recommendations, and added that on Monday, at the level of the Ministerial Council for European Integration, a meeting will be held where we will disclose and address all the findings, shortcomings and failures to meet our obligations. In this meeting, we expect to come up with a plan regarding the fulfilment of all recommendations with all stakeholders, so that next year we receive a better report than this year, she stated.
She added that Kosovo’s political context, in general, was considered challenging during the reporting period. The tax on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia, normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia are aspects with recommendations. Also, she noted that Kosovo needs to improve its administrative capacities and coordination, in all sectors, in order to ensure effective implementation of the EU legislation.
Then, the Minister mentioned the positive evaluations regarding the Political and Economic Criteria in the field of democracy, the progress of the judiciary in general, the progress achieved in the adoption of legislation, the increase of staff in the justice system, the increase of the budget and the increase of accountability. Also, as the Minister noted, there are improvements regarding the Ombudsperson, the fight against terrorism in general.
As far as the economic criteria are concerned, the Minister added that in general there is progress in the development of a functioning market economy, the business environment has improved, there is progress in terms of the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and EU market forces, tax and customs to the free movement of goods, services and capital, as well as financial services, public procurement and competition.
The report also noted that good progress was made in the fields of statistics and financial control. European Standards is a chapter in which it is estimated that Kosovo has a level of preparation in relation to harmonization with European standards, whereas as regards ERA, it has estimated that the Government demonstrated commitment to implementing some of the main priorities of ERA, especially for legislative reforms in the fields of rule of law and public administration.
Minister Hoxha mentioned some of the following shortcomings, failures to fulfilment, and recommendations: Corruption and organized crime, low level of confiscation of illegally acquired assets, low penalties, delays in cases, and mostly, political influence on justice; also the inability of the judiciary to prioritize targeted cases. Then there are challenges in the area of Public Administration Reform such as the Government being too large, the large number of deputy ministers, non-rationalization of independent agencies, non-meritorious appointments of senior positions in the public administration, limited capacities in the administration, non-regular functioning of the Assembly resulting in delays in legislative activity. The report notes the insufficient efficiency of the Assembly in passing laws and parliamentary control over the executive, mentioning here the small number of adopted laws.
A noted remark is the violation of the SAA to stimulate tobacco products and unwillingness to attract foreign investors and that the business environment is threatened by the informal economy.
The Minister highlighted some of the recommendations of the Report such as for Elections: Strengthen the electoral framework, harmonize the Draft Law on financing political parties and campaigns with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
Another recommendation is the adoption of all secondary legislation and the implementation of the laws on public officials, salaries and the organization and functioning of public administration, the increase of accountability in the public sector, by implementing the action plan for the rationalization of agencies and the establishment of a clear framework for managerial accountability and delegation of responsibilities in public institutions as well as ensuring full respect for recruitment and dismissal of merit from public officials, especially senior management.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission for European Integration, Blerta Deliu Kodra, and the MPs expressed their gratitude to Minister Hoxha, giving their estimates and opinions about the report, evaluations of the work of the executive and provided full support to the Minister and the Integration Process.
Last modified: August 5, 2022