Officials from Kosovo and the European Commission held discussions about developments over the past year in the areas of energy, environment, climate, transport and regional Development. The discussion was held in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) which entered into force in April 2016. The reform topics covered by this meeting are directly relevant for the Kosovo economy as well as the well-being of citizens.
It was agreed that strategies, action plans and legislation should be assessed to ensure coherence with the principles and priorities of the EU priority Green Deal initiative and to ensure coherence between relevant documents in each sector.
As regards energy, the Commission welcomed steps taken to improve energy efficiency, including the establishment of the Energy Efficiency Fund, and called for further efforts to improve energy efficiency measures for private households. The Commission also invited Kosovo to begin to take steps to increase the development of alternative energy sources. It also called for a number of pending laws and other reforms to be approved as soon as possible.
On the environment, the Commission expressed concern at limited progress in this area which is of great importance to Kosovo citizens and the quality of their health and lives. In particular, the Commission inquired about progress on real time air quality monitoring and asked for implementation of immediate measures to reduce the levels of air pollution.
As concerns climate action, Kosovo has adopted the Strategy and Action Plan on Climate Change, but needs to start implementing it.
The latest legislative and policy developments in the area of transport were also discussed. The Commission underlined the need to continue the development of projects to help establish the core transport network for the Western Balkans, to contribute to economic development. Both sides agreed on the need to continue reforms, including strengthening the independence and capacities of regulatory institutions in the transport sector. The Commission called for concrete and urgent measures to improve road safety, in the interest of citizens.
Finally, on regional development, the Commission stressed the importance of approving the strategy on balanced regional development.
• The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) is the framework for the EU and the Kosovo administration to regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda. The SAA bodies include the Stabilisation and Association Council, assisted by the Stabilisation and Association Committee, as well as SAA Sub-Committees, which cover a wide range of the EU acquis. The meetings of the SAA bodies provide direct input into the European Commission's annual reports.
• Each Sub-Committee meeting monitors and accompanies Kosovo's delivery on reforms and identifies how the EU can assist in this process.
• There are seven areas covered through sectorial meetings of sub-Committees, on Justice, Freedom and Security; Innovation, Information Society, Social Policy, Education and Culture; Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxation; Internal Market, Competition, Consumer and Health Protection; Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Safety; Transport, Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Regional Development; Economic and Financial Issues, Statistics.
• Two other areas covered through the meetings of special groups are the reform of the public administration and normalisation of relations with Serbia.
SA Committee and Sub-Committee meetings are co-chaired by the European Commission and Kosovo. Each meeting results in jointly agreed follow-up actions to be taken by the Kosovo authorities. The conclusions from the meetings will be available soon on the websites of the EU Office in Kosovo and Ministry of European Integration.