Joint press release following the 4th meeting of the Stabilization and Association Council between the European Union and Kosovo *, Brussels, 7 December 2021

Meeting in Brussels, members of the Stabilization and Association Council (SA Council) reviewed Kosovo’s progress on its European path following the publication of the European Commission’s 2021 report on Kosovo.

The parties discussed recent developments regarding the fulfillment of political criteria, as well as the state of play of economic criteria, financial cooperation and the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

The parties welcomed Kosovo’s renewed commitment to its European path. They agreed on the need for further reforms, including through the implementation of the second phase of the European reform program, and building on Kosovo’s achievements to date. This requires increased attention from all political actors, administrative capacity building and an effective coordination structure within Kosovo institutions.

The parties reaffirmed the importance of visa liberalization for the citizens of Kosovo. The decision on the proposal remains under consideration by the Council. The parties also took note of the positive development of Kosovo’s economic growth, in light of recent projections by Kosovar institutions of 9.9% for 2021.

The parties discussed reform priorities in the areas of fundamentals, and noted the government’s commitment to strengthen the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organized crime, respect for fundamental rights; public administration reform; economic development; as well as education and employment. With regard to the specialized chambers, the parties appreciated the cooperation shown by the Kosovar authorities. The parties agreed on the need for Kosovo’s continued engagement, with full respect for its own legal framework and international obligations, with genuine efforts to ensure the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, justice and justice. reconciliation work.

The meeting underlined the importance of constructive engagement in the EU-facilitated dialogue to negotiate and reach a comprehensive, legally binding normalization agreement with Serbia. This is crucial for Kosovo and Serbia to move forward on their respective European tracks. All agreements made must be respected and fully implemented.

The parties agreed on the importance of Kosovo’s active and constructive participation in regional cooperation mechanisms, including the common regional market and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, as endorsed at the Sofia summit in 2020, and the Kosovo taking full advantage of the economic and investment plan, which will strengthen the region’s long-term development, sustainable recovery, health resilience and green and digital transition, and help move forward on the European path.

Kosovo has indicated its intention to apply for membership.

The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Albin Kurti. The Kosovo delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi and Minister Donika Gervalla, Minister Hekuran Murati, Minister Xhelal Svecla, Minister Liburn Aliu and Deputy Minister Nita Shala. The EU delegation was led by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell, and included the Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Olivér Várhelyi, who represented the European Commission.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is consistent with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

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