Brussels, 11 July 2008
The International Community pledges €1.2 billion to Kosovo[*]
At the Donors’ Conference, aimed to raise pledges for Kosovo's socio-economic development, participants pledged €1.2 billion Out of this amount the EU has contributed with €508 million.
Commissioner Rehn, by opening the conference, said “I am proud that by pledging half a billion Euro, the EU today clearly demonstrates its commitment to Kosovo and to the stability of the Western Balkans. I am also thankful to our international partners for their contribution and engagement. The €1.2 billion pledged today will help to bring about a better future for all living in Kosovo."
EU Special Representative in Kosovo, Peter Feith added: "Today’s conference underlines that our strong political commitment to Kosovo's European future is also matched with increased financial assistance.”
Donors' pledges exceeded the Commission’s target of €1 billion for the period 2009-2011. €1.1 billion is a major contribution to Kosovo's development. It will be used for investing in the infrastructure to connect Kosovo with the rest of the region, improving the conditions for education of Kosovo’s extremely young population, developing Kosovo’s institutions to consolidate democracy and rule of law in a multi-ethnic society.
Further100 million have also been pledged to build up a contingency reserve for instance for expenditure related to debt obligations which Kosovo may inherit.
Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi addressed the Donors' Conference and Minister of Finance and Economy Ahmet Shala presented Kosovo’s reform programme and financing needs.
The International Monetary Fund gave a positive assessment to this programme. This assessment is shared by the Commission, the World Bank, and UN Agencies in Kosovo.
Responding to Kosovo’s programme and pledging their assistance, donors underlined that their financial support will have to be linked to reforms consolidating democracy and improving the conditions for a sustained socio-economic development for all communities.
Kosovo was strongly urged to reform its energy sector by taking convincing measures to increase electricity billing and collection, reduce non-technical losses and to improve the overall financial management and governance of the electricity utility.
Kosovo gave a strong commitment to manage donors’ generous contributions, notably by committing to improve its capacity to efficiently implement public investments. The Kosovo authorities also will take the lead on enhancing donor coordination to implement a single development agenda that takes account of Kosovo’s European integration ambitions.
Participants included representatives from all EU Member States, members of the European Parliament, international donors such as the USA, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Canada, Israel, Kuwait, Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, as well as International Financial Institutions, UN agencies and regional organisations (OSCE, Regional Co-operation Council, NATO, OECD).
In calling this Conference, the Commission was responding to the European Council, which, in December 2007, stated the EU's readiness to assist Kosovo in the path towards sustainable stability, including by an ESDP mission and a contribution to an international civilian office as part of the international presences
The EU's commitment to Kosovo in the next three years (2009-2011) will exceed €1.2 billion:
- The EU today pledged a total of €508 million to support Kosovo's institution building and socio-economic development. This consists of €358 million from the Instrument for Pre-Accession and some €150 million in Macro-Financial Assistance as direct budget support, subject to sufficient budgetary appropriations voted by our budgetary authorities on a yearly basis
- Furthermore, the EU budget will contribute with €457 million until 2010 to the EULEX mission and the International Civilian Office.
- This is supplemented by bilateral contribution from EU Member States of €285 million.
[*] Under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99