On Thin Ice: Conditionality, Challenges and Reforms toward the EU

November 7, 2016

On 7 November 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies and Kosovo Foundation for Open Society organized a Conference on the topic: “On Thin Ice: Conditionality, Challenges and Reforms toward the EU”, at Swiss Diamond Hotel. This conference gathered more than 100 participants, including diplomats, policymakers, media and civil society. The aim of the conference was to highlight challenges that Kosovo faces vis-a-vis both good governance and European integration process. The conference was divided into three sessions. In the opening plenary, panelists focused on the reform priorities deriving from the Stabilization and Association process and Government preparedness. The second and the third parallel sessions addressed Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and the Rule of Law reforms separately, questioning whether Kosovo’s Government approach to the dialogue process and rule of law is appropriate.

During the first session, Mr. Palokaj presented a study entitled: “The Upshot of the SAA: Kosovo-EU Relations”, followed by a discussion from the panelists on the importance of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, with a special focus on prioritizing reforms toward fulfilling the objectives deriving from this agreement. In addition, the panel questioned whether Brexit, migration and rising nationalism will shift the EU away from integration and enlargement.

During the panel on Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, panelists discussed the current challenges to the Dialogue, its impact in the trust between the parties and EU’s enthusiasm to pursue this path further. In addition, they agreed that the Dialogue should be reformatted due to failing to provide concrete results so far.  Moreover, panelists agreed that the mistrust, lack of implementation of the agreements and nationalist rethorics seem to jeopardize what the EU would call a ‘European milestone’.  Whereas, in the parallel panel on the Rule of Law Reforms and EU Integration, panelists had the chance to examine current trends in the implementation of the core rule of law reforms while questioning whether there is sufficient political will to guarantee Kosovo’s credibility in the path toward European integration.

Plenary Session

  1. Mr. Isa Mustafa, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo;
  2. H.E. Ms. Natalyia Apostolova, EU Special Representative in Kosovo;
  3. Mr. Veton Surroi, Founder, Koha Ditore;
  4. Mr. Augustin Palokaj,Journalist, Brussels, Koha Ditore;
  5. Mr. Luan Shllaku, Executive Director, Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.

Panel I – Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue

  1. Mr. Lumir Abdixhiku, Executive Director, Riinvest Institute;
  2. Mr. Agron Bajrami, Editor in Chief, Koha Ditore Daily;
  3. Mr. Dusan Janjic, Forum for Ethnic Relations, Belgrade, Serbia;
  4. Mr. Fisnik Korenica, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Panel II – Rule of Law Reforms and EU Integration

  1. Mr. Hajrulla Çeku, Executive Director, Ec ma Ndryshe;
  2. Mr. Arton Demhasaj, Executive Director, Çohu;
  3. Ms. Katarina Grbesa, EU Office in Kosovo/ EU Special Representative;
  4. Ms. Gjylieta Mushkolaj,Professor at the University of Prishtina, Law Faculty;
  5. Mr. Dren Doli, Group for Legal and Political Studies.


Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, Prishtina

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