Vienna, 21 February 2019 – After the meeting of Ministers, responsible for European Affairs, held in Vienna, the Minister of European Integration, Ms. Dhurata Hoxha, gave the following Press Release:
Kosovo welcomes and appreciates the partnership with Austria, and I am grateful to Minister Blümel for his efforts to push forward the strategic agenda for the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries.
We had constructive discussions with the participants and it was reiterated the importance for the EU to focus its foreign policy by 2025 and beyond on the process of enlargement with the Western Balkan countries. Inclusion of the Western Balkans is crucial for the stability and development of the region.
The Enlargement Strategy, which was published last year, was more than welcome, giving us a clear message on the European perspective of this part of Europe. However, I emphasized the importance of the fact to include Western Balkan countries more firmly and with concrete steps on the European path.
It is clear that all Western Balkan countries aim membership in the EU, yet this is a negotiation process that needs to be carried out carefully.
As you are aware, the Republic of Kosovo is in the final phase of the EU visa liberalization process. Although the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo are the most pro-EU people in Europe, Kosovo is the only country with visa regime, thus we will urge member states to speed up the decision-making process following the confirmation by the European Commission that Kosovo has fulfilled all the criteria stemming from the visa liberalization guide.
We have also focused on EU financial assistance to the Western Balkan countries and we emphasised the importance for the EU to increase the overall efficiency of investment projects in Kosovo and region. Likewise, an important aspect would be the increase of EU grants for various infrastructure projects.
Last modified: August 5, 2022