I welcome you to the closing conference for 2012.
2012 has been the year of materialization of the European perspective.
As never before Kosovo’s European agenda did not have a more tangible substance for the citizens of Kosovo.
Only within one year we have undertaken concrete steps towards Association and Stabilisation Agreement, visa liberalization process, membership in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other important processes.
In addition I will try to summarise main developments that have characterized Kosovo`s European Agenda throughout 2012.
In 2012 we have continued implementation of many reforms within all government sectors. In June the Government submitted 444 answers on the European Commission feasibility studies questions for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. In this course in October European Commission published feasibility study and confirmed that Kosovo “…is mainly ready to begin negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement”.
This consist the first official step of Kosovo towards membership into European Union.
Furthermore, Feasibility Study estimated that in order to begin negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, Kosovo must continue implementation of agreements within the Dialogue Prishtina-Belgrade in order to mark progress in fulfilling four criteria for beginning of negotiations: Rule of Law, Public Administration, Minority Protection and Trade.
In December, Council of the European Union has adopted the recommendations of the European Commission. Council will make a decision to begin negotiations on the Stabilization and Association Agreement in the first half of 2013.
In this context, in the last meeting of the Government was adopted Action Plan for Stabilization and Association Agreement. The Action Plan foresees measures for beginning and completion of negotiations. We believe that our institutions will fulfil criteria for beginning of SAA negotiations by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Within visa liberalization process, after launching the dialogue and receiving of roadmap for visa liberalization, government has submitted its first readiness report on the implementation of the roadmap and approximation of national legislation with EU legislation. In October, the European Commission’s fact-finding mission has confirmed the significant progress achieved in Kosovo.
We expect that European Commission publish first report in February 2013 for the progress on implementation of the roadmap for visa liberalization.
Meanwhile, our institutions will continue to work intensively in fulfilling roadmap criteria. At the same time, a few days ago has started awareness campaigns for the visa liberalization process.
Beginning of Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law has seen a new momentum in the context of Kosovo’s relations with the European Union. Structured dialogue serves as a forum for determining the objectives of the reforms within the rule of law sector.
On November 16th Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has decided to recognize Kosovo as the newest member of the EBRD. This is the latest example of factoring Kosovo’s international position and extremely important instrument for financing economic and social development of Kosovo.
In December, the EU Council mandated the European Commission to start negotiations with Kosovo for Framework Agreement on access to EU programs. After finalization of the negotiations and the decision of the EU Council in the first part of 2013, Kosovo shall have equal access to the region in the 32 EU programs.
This year we have planned EU financial assistance in the amount of EUR 129.16 million, while in May is held the Third High Level Forum on donor coordination and it was confirmed that 864 million Euros, or 70% of financial means pledged at the donors’ conference of 2008 were spent by the respective donors.
In 2012 was established the Task Force on European Integration and respective thematic round tables for the purpose of further development of social consensus and strategy development for European Integration.
So far were held 29 meetings and workshops with the participation of approximately 900 representatives from civil society, academia, the business community, institutions, etc..
Work will continue in the upcoming months in order to finalize the strategy.
Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue remains key framework for European reform discussion between Kosovo and the European Commission. During 2012 were held 7 sector meetings and 1 high-level plenary meeting between Kosovo institutions and the European Commission.
Public administration reform remains one of the most important criteria in the process of European integration.
In this context, the Government and the European Commission have given 25 scholarships for Master studies at prestigious European universities, in the context of scholarship “Young Cell Scheme”.
During this year, Government has employed 28 young professionals who have completed Master studies within Young Cell scheme.
At the same time, Government has taken a decision to ban foreign hires for positions for which there are professionals from Young Cell Scheme. Over the next year, with the purpose of enhancing the capacity of public administration, the project will take place to assess the capacity of ministries within the Stabilisation and Association process.
I tried to be as concise and comprehensive in terms of key developments that have characterized 2012.
Thank you for your attention and now I welcome your answers.
Last modified: August 17, 2022