GLPS held a press conference to present some of the key priorities for the new government

April 10, 2021

Ekonomia Online

On April 10, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) organized a Press Conference on the topic: “Several most pressing issues for the new government”, held in Prishtina.  The new government is expected to face numerous challenges and issues of a high significance, in particular to the management of the pandemic situation in Kosovo, as well as a number of measures to address economic consequences due to COVID-19, for more than a year period now. At the same time, the government is expected to engage in numerous processes and reforms that remain crucial for the country. GLPS organized this conference to propose the new government some of the most urgent measures that should be taken. One of the first and most pressing priorities is the management of the pandemic situation, immunization of at least half of population by the end of 2021, and an adequate infrastructure to ensure transparent and non-selective vaccination process. The Ministry of Health should simultaneously conduct an awareness campaign to encourage citizens to be vaccinated, thus eliminating potential voices that are skeptical of the immunization process.

In addition to managing the pandemic, the Government of Kosovo should immediately take measures to remedy the consequences that COVID-19 brought to the country’s economy. Fair and transparent implementation of the funds remaining from economic recovery package remains of high importance, in addition to identifying new means to support those sectors that have been severely affected by measures imposed. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the consequences of COVID-19 in all sectors should be the next step undertaken by the government.  Also, GLPS considers that the fight against informality should be among the main priorities of the government, and this should be done in full coordination with the responsible institutions.

On the other hand, strengthening the rule of law remains critical for the further development of the country. In this regard, GLPS considers that vetting in the justice system is the first and most important reform that should be launched immediately. The government should focus on finding modalities for the successful implementation of this process. It is also highly important for the entire recruitment and disciplinary mechanisms of judges and prosecutors to be enforced and improved regularly.

In addition, European integration remains the only perspective for Kosovo. The most important instrument that Kosovo currently has in this regard remains the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). Therefore, GLPS recommends the government to immediately approve the National Program for the Implementation of the SAA (NPISAA) as well as the European Reform Agenda II (ERA II). ERA II in no way should be approved unilaterally but the same should be done with the approval of the EU Office in Kosovo, otherwise it loses all its significance. The full implementation of both of these strategic documents remains very important. Furthermore, the government should engage in building a professional dialogue with the European Parliament through the establishment of competent government structures to build ongoing communication with this important EU institution.

Another aspect that also requires commitment is the Public Administration Reform, a very complex process but with great impetus from the European Union. Among the first steps the government must take is to finalize the restructuring of the state administration, the rationalization of executive, regulatory and independent agencies, and the internal organization of the state administration, including the job classification part. Also, the government should provide an open administration and strengthen the e-government system. Regarding the structure of the government, the adoption of the Law on Government remains very important, based on the recommendations provided by the Venice Commission.

Whereas, at the foreign level, the government should engage in a deep reform process of the foreign service by conducting an in-depth review of the diplomatic staff and the defined diplomatic grades, in order to clean up the diplomatic missions from incompetent and illegally appointed persons, in plain, to carry out a vetting in the diplomatic service. Also, the government needs to pay special attention to new recognitions through a clear strategy that responds to Serbia’s aggressive de-recognition campaign. Finally, the Government of Kosovo must take a proactive approach and take the right steps towards joining international organizations such as the Council of Europe, Interpol and UNESCO.

In the field of foreign policy, the Dialogue with Serbia remains one of the main issues and should be treated with the highest importance by the government. Normalization of relations with Serbia with absolute legal recognition should be the final goal of Kosovo institutions. Broad political consensus on dialogue process issues is indispensable. The final agreement with Serbia must be in line with its statehood declared in 2008, and in no way must the territory of Kosovo be discussed.

As for the education sector, GLPS considers that the need to launch an in-depth reform at all levels of education in Kosovo remains imperative. At the same time, the empowerment of vocational schools should be aimed at, as there is a large gap between the needs of employers and what is offered in the labor market. Equally important remains the continuous capacity building of educational staff as well as the ongoing infrastructure investments for lower and secondary education, but not limited to.

Finally, the government should not ignore the environmental situation in the country. Recently, COVID-19 has further exposed indecent urban and spatial planning across all Kosovo. It remains essential to stop issuing unlawful licenses for various hydropower plants, as well as for other constructions which endanger the environment in general. The government’s green strategy should include the concept of collective transport, and it should, together with local governments, invest in adequate and alternative infrastructure that reduces the need to use vehicles.

Conference participants:

Ms. Njomza ARIFI – Programme Manager, GLPS;

Ms. Rreze HOXHA ZHUJA – Research Fellow, GLPS.

Venue: Hotel Sirius (Str. Agim Ramadani, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo)

Share article

Latest Publications

Related Espresso Insights

June 14, 2024


The One Year Anniversary of EU Measures against Kosova


March 4, 2024


Passport Hangover: What’s next after Spain’s Kosovo breakthrough?