The 3rd meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee between the European Union and Kosovo took place in Brussels on 8 October 2019. 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 Kushtrim Cukaj, General Secretary of the Ministry of European Integration of Kosovo.
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, financial cooperation as well as implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
The meeting assessed and approved the outcome of 7 sub-Committees and 1 Special Group meeting which had been held over the course of the previous year. It is hoped that the Special Group on Normalisation will take place before the SA Council. 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.
In view of the early parliamentary elections held on 6 October, the European Commission called on Kosovo to constitute its new Assembly and form the new Government without delay, in order to make up for lost time and implement reforms as a matter of priority. It urged Kosovo to re-launch the dialogue with Serbia and revoke the tariff imposed on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to sustain progress on the track record in the fight against organised crime and corruption.
The meeting underlined the importance of complying with reform requirements deriving from the SAA without delay. The Commission stressed the importance of implementing both the spirit and letter of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. The Kosovo authorities underlined that their priority remains focused on the implementation of quality reforms deriving from the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the European Reform Agenda. It also stressed that further progress on regional integration, including on the regional economic area and connectivity agenda, is important.
The meeting outlined the importance of alignment with best EU standards in key sectors, especially in relation to rule of law, public administration reform, economic development, internal market, education, energy and environment. The Commission underlined the importance of maintaining macro-fiscal stability.
The parties look forward to further discussing progress made in these key areas during the next Stabilisation and Association Council.