From: Exit Staff
Kosovo to Apply for EU Candidate Status by End of 2022

Kosovo plans to apply for candidate status for EU accession by the end of 2022 according to Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla.

“We think that Kosovo meets all the prerequisites to be granted [official candidate status], and therefore, by the end of the year, we will choose the appropriate moment when we will also formally submit this application”, Gërvalla said on Tuesday (26 July).

Gërvalla specified that Kosovo has already implemented the majority of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the European Union’s framework for “stabilising the region and establishing a free-trade area.” 

EU accession consists of four phases: application, candidate status, negotiations, and finally accession. For Kosovo to be granted candidate status, both the Commission and Council must give their unanimous approval.

Recently, Albania and North Macedonia started accession talks after more than eight years as candidates. Ukraine was granted candidate status in record time, as the EU attempts to stymie Russia’s interference in Europe.

During her press conference, Gërvalla gave an update on Kosovo’s application to the Council of Europe, adding that she expects the process be successful and swift.

“We expect Kosovo’s case will not take as long as it did for other states in the region, because we think that at this stage, Kosovo meets all the prerequisites in terms of legislation, human rights, democratic standards, rule of law,” Gërvalla stated.

Kosovo applied for membership to the CoE in May, following the recommendation of the European Stability Initiative (ESU), a Berlin-based think tank.