Public Discussion on the Progress of the Implementation of the SAA: Challenges of the European Agenda and Rule of Law Reforms

September 19, 2016

On 19 September 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies – in partnership with the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration – organized a Public Discussion on the topic “Progress of the Implementation of the SAA: Challenges of the European Agenda and Rule of Law Reforms”, at Swiss Diamond Hotel. This event gathered all members of the Committee for European Integration, other Members of Parliament, member state ambassadors, representatives from relevant institutions and civil society. Panelists had the chance to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the National Implementation Plan for the SAA (NIPSAA), the challenges encountered, and the role that the Assembly should undertake in order to implement the reforms required by the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the short-term framework.

“The Committee for European Integration of the Assembly of Kosovo has a significant role in this process. Therefore, the Committee has to increase its supervisory role towards relevant ministries and focus the parliamentary debate into ideas, challenges and policy proposals that contribute to change”, stated Ms. Emini, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration.

Ms. Apostolova, the Head of EU Office in Kosovo/ EUSR stated that “Rule of law is at the core of the SAA. At the same time, rule of law presents one of the greatest challenges for Kosovo, with a number of recurring issues such as independence of judiciary, corruption, organized crime, transparency of certain economic and decision making processes. These problems – if not addressed properly and with full engagement of all institutions – can hamper efforts to bring Kosovo closer to the EU”, concluded Ms. Apostolova.

In addition, participants agreed that after less than six months after the ratification of the SAA, it is time to focus in the implementation of the required reforms. To that end, many of these reforms require a strong institutional commitment and political unity, including an extended parliamentary pressure in overseeing the achievement of conditions set by the European Commission. Moreover, it is crucial that both institutions and civil society in Kosovo undertake an active role and have a critical voice towards the process of the implementation of the SAA. This Public Discussion was divided into two (2) sessions, whereas the first session, started from 10:30 addressing the general challenges related to the SAA and EU integration process, while the second, started from 11:30, and focused on the rule of law reforms. To access the recommendations, please click here.

 Welcome Note and purpose of the event

Ms. Njomza Emini, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration

Keynote Speech

H.E. Ms. Nataliya Apostolova, Head of the EU Office in Kosovo/EUSR

Session I: The general challenges related to the SAA and EU integration process

  1. H.E. Mr. Ľubomír Batáry, Head of the Liaison Office of the Slovak Republic in Pristina;
  2. Bislim Zogaj, Member of the Committee for European Integration;
  3. H.E. Mr. Gernot Pfandler, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Kosovo;
  4. Vjosa Osmani, Member of the Committee for European Integration;
  5. E. Ms. Marija Kapitanović, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Kosovo;
  6. Donika Kadaj Bujupi, Member of the Committee for European Integration;
  7. Time Kadriaj, Member of the Committee for European Integration.

Session II: Reforms required by the SAA to strengthen the rule of law

  1. H.E. Ms. Gerrie Willems, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo;
  2. Fatmir Xhelili, Member of the Committee for European Integration;
  3. H.E. Mr. Piero Cristoforo Sardi, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Kosovo;
  4. Arben Gashi, Member of the Committee for European Integration;
  5. Kujtim Paqaku, Member of the Committee for European Integration.

 

Date: 19 September 2016

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel (Mother Theresa Square, Prishtina)

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