Brussels, 12 October 2011
Key findings of the 2011 Progress Report on Kosovo*
The Progress Report on Kosovo is part of the 2011 Enlargement Package adopted by the European Commission on 12 October. The year was marked by general and presidential elections. The Report concluded that, Kosovo continued its efforts to align its legislation with European standards, but challenges remain as to its implementation.
Kosovo has made progress as regards the political criteria in a number of important areas. Following the general and presidential elections, a government was formed and started to address challenges Kosovo is facing. The Belgrade/Pristina dialogue was conducted in a generally constructive spirit, until September. The coordination of the European agenda in Kosovo has significantly improved. The Ministry of European Integration has strengthened its role and successfully managed a cycle of the Stabilisation and Association Process dialogue. People in the north also need to benefit from the European perspective. It is important that Kosovo launches a comprehensive agenda for the north. Judicial reform has continued satisfactorily and important judicial institutions are in place.
The general elections were marred by serious shortcomings and allegations of fraud. Perpetrators need to face justice and the electoral reform needs to progress. The capacity of the public administration remains weak. Law enforcement and judicial authorities need to further step up their efforts to tackle organised crime and corruption, which remain serious challenges. They have to demonstrate track record of investigations and convictions. To this end, the Commission proposes to launch a structured dialogue on the rule of law.
Kosovo has made no progress towards establishing a functioning market economy. Considerable reforms and investments are needed to enable it to cope over the long term with the competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.
The economy has grown, however, there are concerns regarding the long term sustainability of the budget. Weak economic policy planning and implementation caused the derailment of the IMF Stand-By Agreement reached in 2010. A non-disbursing staff-monitored programme is running until the end of 2011, which represents a test to regain economic policy credibility. Firms continue to be confronted with overall weak policy planning and public administration, weak rule of law, the lack of a reliable electricity supply, inadequate infrastructure and an unskilled labour force. Unemployment remains very high.
Progress has been mixed in aligning Kosovo's legislation with European standards. The legislative framework has been strengthened in particular as regards trade issues and public procurement. Kosovo has organised a census in line with international and European standards, although the north did not participate. Considering Kosovo's progress on readmission and reintegration of returnees, the Commission will launch a visa dialogue with Kosovo towards the end of the year.
In areas such as the movement of persons, services and right of establishment, money laundering and personal data protection, little progress has been achieved. Much greater efforts are also needed to meet the challenges Kosovo is facing in the protection of its environment.
EU-KOSOVO: KEY DATES
February 2008: Kosovo unilaterally declares independence from Serbia.
October 2009: The European Commission adopts a communication on Kosovo's European Perspective proposing initiatives on visa liberalisation, trade agreement, Stabilisation and Association process dialogue and Kosovo's participation in EU programmes.
July 2010: The International Court of Justice concluded that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general international law or Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).
September 2010: The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution tabled by Serbia and co-sponsored by all EU Member States.
March 2011: The EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade is launched.
To date: Kosovo has been recognised as independent by 81 UN Member States, including 22 EU Member States.
For more information:
Under UNSCR 1244/1999.