From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
SA Council Members Review Kosovo’s Progress on its Path to EU

The members of the Stabilisation and Association Council reviewed Kosovo’s progress on its European path following the publication of the European Commission’s 2020 Report.

A joint statement issued on Monday says that during a video conference, participants discussed recent key developments relating to the fulfilment of the political criteria, as well as the state of play concerning the economic criteria, financial cooperation and implementation of the 2015 Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

This meeting was chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. The European Commission was represented by the Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi.

They welcomed Kosovo’s commitment to the EU- facilitated dialogue with Serbia.

“They agreed on the urgent need to accelerate reform processes, including through the second phase of the European Reform Agenda, requiring increased focus by all political actors and an effective coordination structure within the Kosovo institutions,” the statement reads.

They also “reiterated the importance” of the long-lasting process of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizen.

“The decision on the proposal remains under consideration in the Council,” the statement reads.

They discussed on reform priorities of rule of law and judicial reforms, respect for fundamental rights, public administration reform, economic development, education and employment.

As regards the latest developments by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, the cooperation shown by Kosovo was appreciated.

Welcoming the the resumption of the EU-facilitated Dialogue in July 2020 following the appointment of EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak and the removal of the tariffs and reciprocity measures, the meeting underlined the importance of continuous engagement in good faith to negotiate and achieve a comprehensive legally binding normalisation agreement.

“This is crucial so that Kosovo and Serbia can advance on their respective European paths,” it says, adding that all past agreements need to be respected and implemented.

They also agreed on the importance of Kosovo’s active participation in regional cooperation, notably in implementing the Action Plan to develop a Common Regional Market and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans as endorsed at the Sofia summit on 10 November 2020 and in pursuing a green and digital transition.

The Kosovo delegation in this meeting was led by the Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, Deputy Prime Minister Driton Selmanaj and Ministers Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, Agim Veliu, Hykmete Bajrami, Selim Selimi, Besian Mustafa and Vesel Krasniqi also participated.