BRUSSELS – The members of the Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) reviewed Kosovo’s progress on its European path following the publication of the European Commission’s 2020 Report.
The joint statement issued on Monday reads that 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, while the Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi represented the European Commission.
“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,” reads the statement.
Participants also reiterated the importance of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens and discussed reform priorities in areas including rule of law and judicial reforms, respect for fundamental rights, public administration reform, economic development, education and employment.
When it comes to the latest developments with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, participants appreciated the cooperation shown recently by Kosovo authorities and those arrested.
SA Council members welcomed Kosovo’s continued strategic commitment to its European path and to the EU-facilitated dialogue with Serbia.
“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. Participants agreed that all past agreements need to be respected and implemented”, reads the statement.
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 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.