The European Commission and Kosovo authorities held the kick-of meeting for preparation of Kosovo's fourth Economic Reform Programme 2018-2020 (ERP). The meeting was attended by representatives from the Kosovo Government, the European Commission, OECD, civil society organisations and business associations.
By participating in the ERP exercise Kosovo and Western Balkans mirror a similar process undertaken by the EU member States called the European Semester. The process aims at ensuring macro-economic and fiscal stability by implementing structural reforms that foster economic growth, improve competitiveness and job creation. Together with the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, and the European Reform Agenda as its implementing tool, the Economic Reform Programme is a mechanism to develop the economy and bring Kosovo closer to the EU.
In their presentation the European Commission officials elaborated on the new ERP 2018 guidelines and presented the EU support available in the new cycle. Among other issues, the EC encouraged to focus on implementation of the reforms, which could bring real changes and boost economic growth in Kosovo. OECD focused on lessons learnt from the 2017 ERP process and remaining areas for improvement as well as monitoring tools for the implementation of the proposed reforms. Kosovo authorities from their part informed the participants on the process and timelines for preparation of the fourth ERP 2018-2020.
In 2017, all enlargement partners submitted their third annual Economic Reform Programmes covering the period 2017-2019. The ERPs outline the medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework as well as structural reforms affecting areas such as labour markets and education, energy, innovation and the business environment to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth. They have been assessed by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Based on these assessments, Joint Conclusions with country-specific policy guidance were agreed and adopted by all seven enlargement partners and the EU at ministerial level on 23 May 2017. The fourth ERP is to be submitted in January 2018.
More background on ERP, last Conclusions on Kosovo as well as the press release issued by the Council can be found under the following links: