GLPS held a Press Conference in light of the new EC Country Report 2022 for Kosovo

October 14, 2022

On October 14, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) held a Press Conference to present an analysis and a set of recommendations to the relevant institutions on the basis of the recent assessment received with the EC Country Report 2022 for Kosovo. This report remains one of the key instruments through which the EU provides an assessment on the Kosovo’s reforms’ progress and overall democratic development. Given this, GLPS has regularly monitored the process of fulfillment and compliance with the EU standards, since 2012. This year’s report provides an assessment of a one-year governance under the Kurti II government, in comparison to last year when it assessed two different governing periods and governments.

“It should be noted that in this period, Kosovo has marked some progress in certain areas within different reforms, but this progress was nevertheless insufficient and not essential in terms of moving forward towards the EU integration”, stated Ms. Arifi, the Programme Manager of GLPS. As she said, many of the initiated reforms that have been positively acknowledged are still in a very early phase, and for real impact to be ensured, there is a need for a strong political and institutional will for these reforms to properly work in practice. “Limited progress or some progress still remain the key words of this year’s EC Country Report, with a somewhat more positive tone in some particular areas”, she concluded. Certainly, this year’s report does not entail and radical change, nor has it acknowledged or welcomed any deep structural reform that has been successfully achieved during this period.

The progress mentioned above was mainly recognized in the economic criteria, the stability of the financial sector throughout the year, the management of migration policies, and more compacted appraisals are given in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, in the field of public procurement, media freedom and the organization of free and democratic elections at the local level. Unquestionably, the EU welcomed Kosovo’s alignment with the EU and Western countries in imposing sanctions on Russia and providing assistance to potential Ukrainian refugees.

However, the report puts worrisome emphasis on the limited progress of Kosovo in the further implementation of key reforms related to the integration process related to the rule of law, public administration, education, fight against corruption and organized crime, and informality. A concerning and clearly highlighted aspect this year, rightfully so, is the weak functioning of the Assembly of Kosovo, namely the frequent lack of quorum and scarce fulfillment of the legislative agenda.

As for the integration process at the level of existing instruments, the EU positively assesses the government’s commitment to approve the second phase of the European Reform Agenda (ERA II) as well as the National Plan for the Implementation of the SAA, both of these strategic documents already approved by the government. The report states that some progress has been made in the adoption and implementation of reforms related to the EU. Kosovo has adopted the National Program for the Implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (NIPSAA) and Action Plan II of the European Reform Agenda (ERA). Kosovo has strengthened its capacity to coordinate the implementation of commitments and obligations arising from the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) and ERA II, and has improved reporting mechanisms.

“GLPS recommends to the Government to increase its efforts for an enhanced and improved inter-institutional coordination to achieve concrete results in some of the key reforms such as the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organized crime, reforms in public administration, among others”, concluded Mr. Fetahu from GLPS. In addition, increased institutional commitment is required in fulfilling the obligations deriving from the SAA and ERA II.

Ms. Njomza ARIFI – Programme Manager, Group for Legal and Political Studies

Mr. Arbër FETAHU – Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Venue: GLPS Offices, Str. Rexhep Luci, 16/1, 10000 Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.

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