Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Kosovo in Europe: Ten Years of Contested Statehood in unsettled neighborhood”

March 22, 2018

Part of the Western Balkans Reflection Forum Series – the Berlin Process and EU Enlargement Strategy

On March 22, Group for Legal and Political Studies and Institute GAP – in close cooperation with the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe (CFA/ÖFZ, Vienna), Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE, Nice/Berlin) – hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Kosovo in Europe: Ten Years of Contested Statehood in unsettled neighborhood”, held in Prishtina. This event is part of the Western Balkans Reflection Forum Series on the achievements of the Berlin Process and the EU Enlargement Strategy. Beyond keeping the impetus of European integration, the Berlin’s Process initial objective was to further “real additional progress” in the region. While the Summit of Trieste reconfirmed the EU’s commitment to support Western Balkan’s path into the EU, the implementation of previous commitments by both the EU and Western Balkans’ governments remains fraught with question marks. The Western Balkans Reflection Forum held in Trieste in June 2017 has highlighted key issues regarding the implementation of these commitments as well as new challenges, rendering EU accession prospects less predictable, notwithstanding the new enlargement strategy of February 2018. Kosovo is no exception in this respect. Ten years after its independence, the youngest country in Europe faces a series of important challenges rendering its European perspectives still too distant, e.g. in the lengthy reforms process that accompanies its political and economic transformation; in the consolidation and normalization of its neighborly relations and dialogue with Belgrade in particular; in the lessening of its international dependence and the advancement of its international relations worldwide. In addition, the panel had the chance to exchange views on current developments in EU-Western Balkans relations in general and EU-Kosovo relations in particular. More specific, some of the issues discussed during the event included the opportunities and risks that the Berlin process carries with its current approach, progress it has provided in maintain the impetus of a slowed-down accession process, where should the focus be primarily put on and how to best utilize the new modes of cooperation this intergovernmental initiative has introduced. Finally, question such as how does the Berlin process in its current approach intersect with the EU’s enlargement strategy and political agenda, what are the implications of the UK hosting the next Berlin Process summit in London in 2018 and which perspectives can the Western Balkans in general and Kosovo in particular now envisage with respect to their EU accession where among other issues that were discussed during the event. This event was organised with the support of the Open Regional Fund for SEE – Promotion of EU Integration (German Cooperation / GIZ), Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI, Paris) and the European Commission (Erasmus+-Programme).

Opening remarks

Mr. Florent MARCIACQ – Deputy Secretary General and Research Fellow, Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe (CFA/ÖFZ), Vienna;

Ms. Nora LATIFI-JASHARI – Executive director, GAP Institute, Prishtinë.

The Berlin Process: “real additional progress” for Kosovo?

H.E. Mr. Didier CHABERT – Ambassador of France to Kosovo;

Mr. Tom ADAMS – Deputy Head of the British Mission, Kosovo;

H.E. Mr. Gernot PFANDLER – Ambassador of Austria to Kosovo;

H.E. Mr. Piero Cristoforo SARDI – Ambassador of Italy to Kosovo.

Enlargement and bilateral disputes: how can the EU Enlargement Strategy contribute to progress?

Mr. Dario ČEPO – Assistant Professor, University of Zagreb;

Ms. Albana MERJA – Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies, Prishtinë;

Mr. Tobias FLESSENKEMPER – Project Director, Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), Nice

Conclusion

Mr. Felix RAATHJE –  Policy Officer at the EU Office in Kosovo/EUSR;

Mr. Agron HOTI – Representative from the Ministry of European Integration of Kosovo.

 

Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo.

 

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