In energy, the day before the meeting a donors conference on ‘Sustainable Energy for Kosovo’ had taken place, at which the EC pledged a substantial volume of funding to reduce the environmental impact of Kosovo’s energy sector, including financing the entire costs of decommissioning the Kosovo A power plant, which is to be closed as soon as the new generation capacity has been built. These issues were discussed in more detail at the meeting, such as the way to plan the decommissioning stages, including before the power plant is switched off. There were also discussions on recent developments in the sector, such as the privatisation of the distribution network (and the effects this could have on improving billing and collection rates), on the legal developments to align Kosovo with the EC’s internal energy market, and on improving the legal, market and regulatory framework necessary to promote energy efficiency and investments in renewable energies. The need for a strong and independent energy regulatory authority was heavily stressed.
For the environment, the Commission praised the legal progress in adopting a law on waters, as well as in improving Kosovo’s capacity to analyse water and air quality. That capacity, however, confirms that both air and water quality is alarming, and much still needs to be done to raise the both to the levels that Kosovo citizens, like their counterparts in the rest of Europe can enjoy.
There was a particular discussion on the environmental impact of the energy sector, in line with the discussions at the previous day’s donors’ conference, as well as the effect that Kosovo’s energy sector has on air, water and soil. Implementing Kosovo’s Nature Protection law was the subject of discussions: whilst Kosovo has made progress in identifying protected sites and areas, there have been few developments in listing species to protect.
There were also discussions on climate change, where Kosovo still has to begin to develop policies not only to mitigate its contribution to global warming but also to adapt to the effects of climate change, particularly on agriculture and water.
In the transport sector, the EC praised continued developments to create a stable and competitive framework in both railways and aviation, although the need to adopt a new law to create a professional and independent Air Navigation Service Agency was heavily stressed, as was the need to balance Kosovo’s ambitious highway building plans with investment in other transport modes, not to mention maintenance and repair of the existing transport network. The meeting also discussed Kosovo’s initiatives to reduce the alarming level of accidents and fatalities on Kosovo’s roads.
In regional development, the discussions focussed on continued policies and actions to implement Kosovo’s own decentralisation programme, both in terms of empowering municipalities to assume the competences granted to them (and therefore the need to oversee these competences) but also to promote economic development at municipal and regional levels.
The EU has provided considerable assistance to these areas and this assistance has been important in improving Kosovo’s capacity to meet EU standards in these areas. Under the next phase of the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA II), Energy and Climate has been identified as a priority area deserving of long-term assistance.
• The SAP Dialogue is the framework for the EC and the Kosovo administration to regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda. The meetings provide direct input into the European Commission’s yearly progress report.
• The SAP Dialogue monitors and accompanies Kosovo’s delivery on reforms, in particular with regard to the priorities defined in the European Partnership, and identifies how the EU can assist in this process.
• There are seven areas covered in sectoral meetings and they follow closely the format of the dialogue that the EU has with other candidates and potential candidates. The sectoral meetings are on Justice, Freedom and Security; Innovation, Information Society, Social Policy, Education and Culture; Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxation; Internal Market, Competition, Consumer and Health Protection; Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Food Safety; Transport, Environment, Energy, Regional Development; Economic and Financial Issues, Statistics.
• Sectoral and plenary SAP Dialogue meetings are co-chaired by the European Commission and the government. Each meeting results in jointly agreed follow-up actions to be taken by the Kosovo authorities. A plenary meeting, where the reform priorities will be discussed, is expected to take place in July 2013. The conclusions from the meetings you can find at the EU Office in Kosovo website.
Last modified: August 16, 2022