Envisaging the Stabilization and Association Agreement as a process that will guide substantial reforms for the Republic of Kosovo

April 21, 2016

On 21 April 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Envisaging the Stabilization and Association Agreement as a process that will guide substantial reforms for the Republic of Kosovo?” held at Swiss Diamond Hotel. This Roundtable Discussion served as an opportunity to debate about the importance of the SAA for Kosovo and to identify the challenges, from the perspectives of the leaders of main political parties, that Kosovo institutions should overcome in order to become a good-standing example of SAA implementation and to establish successful reforms under that process.  The panel included the main political leaders in Kosovo, including the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly, President of Lëvizja Vetëvendosje, Deputy President of AAK and Head of National Council of Nisma for Kosovo. The Roundtable was attended by most of the Ambassadors from the EU Members States and other Heads of international missions in Kosovo such as OSCE, European Union, etc.  Representatives from Kosovo institutions, ministries and agencies were among other participants attending the roundtable.

The first one to address the audience was Mr. Zbogar, the EU Special Representative in Kosovo, who reiterated the importance of the SAA for Kosovo in both political and economic aspects. “EU Integration is the vision which unites unequivocally all the political leaders of Kosovo and European Union urges the enforcement of rule of law and a functioning parliament without compromise for corruption” stated Mr. Zbogar. Furthermore, he said that European Union highly appreciates the public demonstration by all political leaders towards supporting the Kosovo’s European Agenda and the SAA contractual agreement serves as one of the first milestone which will attract new investments and will create new jobs.

“By signing the SAA, Kosovo has entered its first contractual relation with the European Union and this agreement will serve as a tool towards substantial reforms in Kosovo” said the Prime Minister Mustafa. In addition, he said that the Kosovo’s integration into EU would guarantee the enforcement of rule of law, economic development, enhance regional cooperation and bring peace to the region. Lastly, Prime Minister Mustafa reiterated that the cooperation between the position and opposition is a necessity and the willingness is already shown by the establishment of the Joint Parliamentary Committee. On the other hand, Mr. Visar Ymeri, the president of Lëvizja Vetëvendosje, highlighted that the accession to the European Union should not be considered as a mythical aim, but it will be achieved only after the Republic of Kosovo addresses the reforms with regards to rule of law and economic development.

“The road towards EU Integration is one of main reasons of gathering all the political parties together, however, the integration process, at this state, will not be providing a solution to the political crisis that Kosovo is currently facing”, stated Mr. Ardian Gjini, the Deputy President of AKK. Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, the Head of National Council of Nisma for Kosovo stated the fact that political parties and citizens of Kosovo do not seek for another perspective other than the EU’s and with no doubt, the achievement of this perspective will depend on the results that Kosovo will accomplish and the readiness of European Union to treat Kosovo equally as other countries in the process.

The last to address the audience was the Speaker of the Assembly and the Acting Head of PDK, Mr. Kadri Veseli.  “Kosovo believes in the European vision. The European Agenda remains our national priority for which we have a full consensus among all the political parties in Kosovo”, said Mr. Veseli. He added that the Stabilization and Association Agreement will offer Kosovo an economic perspective, especially in the aspect of trading with European Union. Mr. Zbogar concluded the event by highlighting that there is an EU perspective for Kosovo and that there is a need for a constructive dialogue, inter-institutional cooperation and substantial engagement by all parties and institutions in Kosovo. Moreover, he stated that Kosovo’s leadership should utilize the SAA as a guiding tool for reforms in the rule of law, economy, and external statebuilding.

Keynote Speaker:

Mr. Samuel Žbogar – Head of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative; 

Panelists in attendance:

  1. Mr. Isa Mustafa – Prime Minister of Kosovo and President of LDK;
  2. Mr. Kadri Veseli – Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo and Acting President of PDK;
  3. Mr. Visar Ymeri – Member of Parliament and President of Vetëvendosje;
  4. Mr. Ardian Gjini – Deputy President of AAK;
  5. Mr. Jakup Krasniqi – President of the National Council of NISMA for Kosovo.

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel, Conference Room: Ulpiana (Mother Theresa Boulevard), Prishtina

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