During the two-day event, the European Commission (EC) officials highlighted the need for transparent, merit-based and non-politicized appointments to independent regulatory bodies and publicly owned enterprises as well as public institutions, in order to ensure their effective and independent functioning, with a special focus on recent appointments.
Another issue raised was the need for an implementable system for confiscation of assets to ensure an effective fight against corruption and organized crime. The EC also stressed the need for an effective and independent functioning of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and Kosovo Judicial Council. It emphasized the need to make progress on Assembly rules of procedures with a view to strengthening Assembly oversights of the executive and make progress on electoral reforms and financing of political parties.
On Home Affairs, the parties exchanged views on witness protection, civil registry and integrated border management. On the fight against organised crime, the focus was on confiscation of assets and money laundering, fight against trafficking in human beings and narcotics, anti-terrorism and migrant smuggling, with an emphasis on a need to develop a sustainable track record. As for the fight against corruption, focus was on result-delivery by the institutions, and the need for improved inter-institutional cooperation in fighting corruption.
With regards to judiciary, Kosovo authorities gave an update on the functioning of the courts, prosecutorial offices and relevant Councils and judicial reforms. It was said that much work is still needed to strengthen accountability, professionalism and competence of the judiciary.
On human rights and fundamental freedoms, the work required following last year’s adoption of the human rights law package was discussed, focussing in particular on prisons, protection of personal data and property rights, as well as the rights of children, persons with disabilities and LGBTI community. In discussions on the freedom of expression, the still unresolved issue of RTK financing was raised. Both parties also discussed the need for transitional justice, dealing with the past and clarifying the whereabouts of missing persons from the conflict.
As regards the protection and respect of minority communities, the parties agreed the new strategy for the integration of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities should be swiftly finalised in an encompassing manner, including all relevant stakeholders. The government committed itself to improve livelihoods of these most vulnerable communities. The implementation of the law on official languages, the institutional framework on communities was also covered in the meeting.
With regard to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, both parties discussed the functioning and work of the Implementation and Monitoring Council (IMC), budget and resources allocated to the protection of cultural heritage sites, as well as incidents and illegal activities affecting such sites.
The SAP Dialogue meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security, the conclusions of which will feed into this year’s Kosovo Report, was organised jointly with the Ministry for European Integration.
The SAP Dialogue is the framework for the EU 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 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. The conclusions from the meetings are posted at the website of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative.
Last modified: August 11, 2022