The meeting assessed and approved the outcome of 8 sub-Committee and 3 Special Group meetings which had been held over the course of the previous year
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The 1st meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee between the European Union and Kosovo took place in Brussels on 5 October 2017. The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans in the European Commission’s Directorate General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and Dhurata Hoxha, Kosovo Minister for European Integration.
The Stabilisation and Association Committee discussed recent key political developments and took stock of the state of play in relation to the economic criteria, alignment with EU legislation and standards (the “acquis”), financial cooperation as well as implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
The meeting assessed and approved the outcome of 8 sub-Committee and 3 Special Group meetings which had been held over the course of the previous year. Throughout the discussions, it assessed progress in areas relevant to the European Reform Agenda and the Economic Reform Programme which play an important role in guiding Kosovo’s reform efforts and implementation of the SAA, in areas such as good governance and rule of law, competitiveness and the investment climate, as well as employment and education.
The meeting discussed reform priorities in areas including rule of law and judicial reforms, respect for fundamental rights, public administration reform, and economic reforms. Now that a new government has been formed, the European Commission called on Kosovo to make up for lost time and implement reforms as a matter of priority. It encouraged Kosovo to intensify work on the ratification of the border/boundary agreement with Montenegro and to sustain progress on the track record in the fight against organised crime and corruption.
The meeting underlined the importance of progress in the EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade and of the implementation of all agreements already reached without delay. It also underlined the importance of further progress on regional integration, including on the regional economic area and connectivity agenda.
The meeting outlined the importance of alignment with best EU standards in key sectors, especially in relation to public administration reform, economic development, internal market, education, energy and environment. The Commission underlined the importance of guaranteeing macro-fiscal stability as an important precondition for planned EU sector budget support.
The parties look forward to further discussing progress made in these key areas during the Stabilisation and Association Council 17 November 2017.
SAA institutional structures oversee the implementation of the SAA. There is a Stabilisation and Association Council, with high-level representatives of both the EU and Kosovo, taking turns to chair. This body supervises and evaluates the process through an annual meeting. It is helped by a Stabilisation and Association Committee, which also meets annually, at high civil servant level between the European Commission and Kosovo institutions. These two high-level bodies are supported by sub-committees, involving Kosovo and European Commission civil servants, which meet throughout the year to discuss and monitor progress on specific subject areas of the SAA.