Çitaku Minister informed the members of the Parliamentary Committee on technical arrangements by the institutions of Kosovo to begin negotiations for an SAA. She added that the SAA will be the first contractual agreement under which the Republic of Kosovo and the European Union will make mutual commitments: on one side, our country will also undertake deeper reforms, and on the other side the EU will provide a real opportunity for membership.
The purpose of the SAA is; providing political and legal framework that will regulate the process of approximation and Kosovo’s membership in the European Union. The agreement will be legal basis for all subsequent steps of Kosovo in the process of European integration. It’s about 3 months since the technical preparations have begun in the area of trade negotiation issues and approximation issues. And, in terms of trade affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry has done a good job within the discussion with the business sector and finalizing the list of products that will be negotiated in the under SAA.
Minister Çitaku emphasized to the members of the Parliamentary Committee that: “It is encouraging that we have ahead of us an ambitious agenda for an agreement that will include all the traditional elements of the SAA as for the other countries in the region. We expect that the SAA has a framework timeframe for full implementation of the Association Agreement between the Republic of Kosovo and the European Union for a period of 10 years. This includes timeframe within which our agricultural products will be protected from foreign imports. And I would like to clarify that this timeframe is not related to our European Union joining timeframe, because EU joining process will be determined based on the speed of undertaking reforms within the formal process of negotiations for membership. This Agreement will have legal status of international agreements, and will be a complex document -considering regional experiences such agreements had a volume of 500 to 800 pages. A successful negotiation process requires a defined organizational hierarchy, simple procedures and clear, technical expertise and involvement of all political and social stakeholders, including the business sector, academia and civil society.”
Çitaku Minister also stated that: “We expect to start SAA negotiations in the autumn of this year, and we intend to proceed with negotiations until the spring of next year. In cooperation with the European Commission we have agreed on intensive negotiations timetable.
Within the negotiation process will be held 4 meetings at the level of Chief negotiators – they will be held in October, November, February and May. In the meantime these meetings will be complemented with Working Groups meetings.
Negotiations will be developed according to negotiating chapters, and initially will be negotiated trade issues, then approximation issues and finally will be negotiated cooperation policies.
On February 27, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo has established negotiating team.
Negotiation Team Leader is the Ministry of European Integration, while the members are:
– Minister of Foreign Affairs;
– Minister of Trade and Industry;
– Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development;
– Minister of Finance;
– Minister of Economic Development;
– Minister of Justice
Also, in the negotiations will be invited one (1) representative of the Office of the President and the one from the Committee on European Integration of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo.
Other ministers and heads of independent institutions will participate depending on the matters set forth in the negotiations agenda.
Negotiating team will have a mandate to lead negotiations at the political level and to provide clear policy framework for technical negotiations.
Regarding the negotiators and negotiation working groups – so far we agreed with the European Commission that the negotiations will be organized in three working groups:
1. Working group on trade issues;
2. Working Group on approximation of legislation;
3. Working group on cooperation policies.
Negotiator on trade issues has been appointed Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Bernard Nikaj.
Negotiator for the approximation of legislation and policy cooperation is appointed Deputy Minister of European Integration, Mr. Gëzim Kasapolli
Negotiators will operate within the policy framework provided by the Negotiating Team and will have a mandate to discuss and negotiate all details of the proposed agreement.
Last modified: August 16, 2022