The Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union: A discussion with civil society representatives in Kosovo

July 8, 2016

On 28 June 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) – in partnership with the Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Kosovo and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) –  organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: ‘The Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union: A discussion with the civil society representatives in Kosovo’. This event gathered representatives from the civil society organisations in Kosovo with the aim to discuss the priorities of the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of European Union for 2016 and the upcoming Slovak Presidency of the Council. At the beginning of this Roundtable Discussion, the Netherlands ambassador and Slovak Head of office addressed the audience to explain current and upcoming priorities of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“Kosovo’s path towards EU Integration and the implementation of the SAA requires serious efforts from all actors involved in the process. Jointly, we should keep working for concrete results for the citizens”, said Ambassador Willems. She also highlighted the need for an open and constructive communication among the government, civil society and citizens.

As the Presidency of the Council of European Union will be soon transferred to Slovakia, H.E Mr. Batáry, the Head of the Slovak Liaison Office in Kosovo, informed the audience for the upcoming priorities, specifically focusing on migration and asylum, security, modernization of the free markets, employment and fight against terrorism, among others.

“Kosovo, as part of the Western Balkans, will also remain under the priorities of the Slovak Presidency. We will pursue an active approach in assisting Kosovo during the implementation of the SAA and the visa liberalisation process”, stated Mr. Batáry.

The last to address the audience was the Deputy Minister of European Integration, Mr. Ilazi, stated that major developments have occurred during the Netherlands Presidency due to their continues support and assistance towards Kosovo’s EU integration path, and the same is expected by the Slovak Presidency.

This Roundtable served as an opportunity for a coherent and open dialogue with the representatives of the civil society to scrutinize what challenges Kosovo faces in its European Integration path, how should EU member states be approached to address these challenges and what could civil society do to effectively enhance the dialogue with EU member states.


H.E. Ms. Gerrie Willems – Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Kosovo;

H.E. Mr. Ľubomír Batáry – Liaison Office of the Slovak Republic in Pristina;

Mr. Ramadan Ilazi – Deputy Minister of European Integration;

 Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, Prishtina

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