Minister Çitaku opened the meeting by emphasizing that the aim of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement is to provide legal and policy framework which is going to regulate the process of approximation and membership of Kosovo into European Union. The agreement will be a legal basis for all subsequent steps of Kosovo in the process of European Integration.
Agreement will have legal status of the international agreement and will be a very complex document – considering regional experiences such agreements had a volume of 500-800 pages and are organised into 10 titles,7 annexes and 7 protocols.
A successful negotiation process requires a defined organizational hierarchy, clear and simple procedures, technical experience and involvement of all political and social stakeholders, including business, academia and civil society.
Chief of the Negotiating Team is Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku, while members are:
– Minister of the Foreign Affairs;
– Minister of Trade and Industry;
– Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development;
– Minister of Finance;
– Minister of the Economic Development;
– Minister of Justice.
Negotiation Team Secretary will be the Secretary General of the Ministry of the Integration.
Negotiating team will have the mandate of leading negotiations in the political level and to provide a clear political framework on the technical negotiations.
Negotiator of the trade issues has been appointed Deputy Minister of the Trade and Industry, Mr. Bernard Nikaj.
Negotiator for the approximation of the legislation and policy cooperation has been appointed Deputy Minister of the European Integration, Mr. Gëzim Kasapolli.
Negotiators will operate within the political framework provided by the Negotiating Team and will have a mandate to discuss and negotiate all details of the proposed agreements.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo said:
During today’s meeting I will address two most immediate goals in the European integration process of Kosovo. I would like to begin with the process of negotiating Stabilisation and Association Agreement. At the same time having in mind that most of the institutions represented at this meeting have in front of theme duties linked to the Visa Liberalisation process I will also address this important process for our citizens.
The launch of the negotiations of the Stabilisation and Association process between our country and European Union is a historical momentum in the integrating process of our country.
Stabilisation and Association Agreement is going to be the first contractual agreement that offers a clear perspective toward Kosovo’s full membership in the European Union.
We and the European Union will make mutual pledges: on one side, our country to undertake even deeper reforms and on the other side EU to provide real opportunities for membership.
It is encouraging that we have before us an ambitious agenda for an agreement that will include all traditional elements of the of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement as to other countries in the region, including political dialogue, trade aspect, cooperation policies, parts that have to do with Justice, Freedom and Security as well as a number of other important issues.
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo is prepared to commence as soon as possible the SAA negotiation.
In order to proceed further with the process of the preparation of the analyses of the trade aspect impact of the SAA Deputy Minister of the Trade and Industry Mr. Bernard Nikaj underlined the importance of the SAA process in the economy of Kosovo, and that I can that Ministry of Trade and Industry has given a particular importance to the process of preparing the analyses of the impact of the trade aspect of MSA process in the economy. This document already contains key findings which can help to identify in a better way sensitive product for special treatment, by including the transition periods by lowering or elimination of customs duties. The document developed various scenarios regarding the impact that this agreement will have in the Kosovo economy, including the losses generated from collected fees from import as well as the possibility of allocating imports from the third countries in the EU.
Present was Deputy Minister Kasapolli who said that:
We are expecting that the negotiation process will begin in practice only after we receive first draft of the proposal agreements from the side of the European commission. Until then the negotiating process aims to analyse the Stabilisation and Association Agreements of the countries in the region and identify strengths and challenges that may arise in the context of our negotiations with European Union and in this regard help us to determine our negotiating positions.
Minister of European integration has organised a preliminary round of consultations with most of the involved institutions and at the same time today afternoon has been called a coordinating meeting with all included institutions within the process of the legislation approximation. During today’s meeting, the Ministry of the European Integration will present analysis of all Stabilisation and association Agreements of the countries of the region and at the same time will be defined responsible institutions for every field of the legislation approximation.
Responsible institutions will have a timeline until 20 of August in order to prepare initial negotiating positions. Until the half of the September, Ministry of the European Integration will develop additional consultations in order to finalise negotiating positions.
Concluding the meeting Minister Çitaku expressed once more that we expect that negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement to begin in the autumn of this year, while we aim to conclude negotiations until the spring of the next year.
The agreement will be negotiated in several rounds, starting with the part of trade. We estimate that there will be 4 or 5 official meetings in the level of the minister delegation and a number of technical meetings. Most of the meetings will be held in Brussels.
Last modified: August 16, 2022