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The European Commission and Kosovo authorities held a high level meeting to launch Kosovo's fourth Economic Reform Programme 2018-2020 (ERP). The meeting was opened with remarks by Kosovo's Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, Bedri Hamza, Minister of Finance and National Coordinator of ERP and the European Commission's Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Christian Danielsson.
"The Economic Reform Programme is about reducing the informal economy. It is about tackling youth unemployment and reforming vocational education and training. It is also about improving energy efficiency, and thus, addressing one of the key obstacles identified by business: unreliable energy supply," the Director General, Christian Danielsson said.
You can find his entire address here.
Discussion followed with Ministers responsible for ERP sectors, Government ERP coordinators and representatives of civil society organisations.
Most notably the ministers presented their efforts to improving access to finance for the private sector, including by establishing a Credit Guarantee Fund, which would ultimately boost production and generate employment, operationalisation of the Employment Agency, the state of play with regard to the construction of the new power plant and the prospects for timely decommissioning of Kosovo A, as well as sustainable energy supply.
By participating in the ERP exercise Kosovo and Western Balkans mirror a similar process undertaken by the EU member States. 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 2017, all enlargement partners submitted their third annual Economic Reform Programmes covering the period 2017-2019. The ERP reforms target areas such as labour markets and education, energy, innovation and business environment to enhance competitiveness, employment and social inclusion. 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: