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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 16 October 2013

Key findings of the Progress Report on Kosovo*

The Progress Report on Kosovo is part of the 2013 Enlargement Package adopted by the European Commission on 16 October. The Commission concluded that 2013 has been a historic year for Kosovo on its path to the European Union. Kosovo has been committed to the EU facilitated dialogue with Serbia and delivered on important policy reforms identified in the 2012 feasibility study. The EU appreciated these efforts by agreeing to start negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo.

Political criteria

Kosovo has increased its capacity to address the priorities of the European integration process by following-up on the short-term priorities identified by the feasibility study (rule of law, public administration, protection of minorities and trade) and by preparing for the negotiations of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. In the context of the visa liberalisation dialogue, Kosovo amended and adopted important legislation, including laws on asylum, party financing and human trafficking. In January, the laws on courts and on prosecution entered into force, introducing new court and prosecution structures.

The Commission underlined the necessity to keep normalising relations with Serbia and to continue building an inclusive Kosovo. Further efforts are needed for Kosovo to meet the challenges of its European reform agenda in view of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. The priority areas include the rule of law, judiciary, public administration, electoral reform and the Assembly, human and fundamental rights, protection of minorities, trade and internal market issues, and phytosanitary and veterinary issues.

Economic criteria

Kosovo has moved towards establishing a functioning market economy. At the same time, considerable reforms and investments are needed to enable Kosovo to cope over the long term with competitive pressure and market forces. In particular, Kosovo needs to improve its business environment, support the private sector and address structural weaknesses in the labour market so as to reduce unemployment.

EU legislation

Kosovo has made progress in preparing for the negotiations on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. It completed the restructuring of the Ministry for Trade and Industry and finalised an impact analysis in view of the negotiations on the trade related aspects of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Kosovo has also taken steps to prepare for the agricultural census. In a wide range of technical areas, the required legislation is in place. Kosovo is ready to start the negotiating process.

Further efforts are needed to focus on the implementation of the legal framework in particular in the areas of trade, competition and the internal market. Kosovo needs to enhance its efforts in the fight against the illegal trade and slaughter of animals. It needs to strengthen the controls at livestock markets and to improve business statistics, food safety and phytosanitary controls. In the energy sector, efforts to decommission the Kosovo A power plant need to be stepped up.

Key dates

1999: The EU proposes the new Stabilisation and Association Process for countries of Southeast Europe.

June 2000: The European Council states that all the Stabilisation and Association countries are potential candidates for EU membership.

June 2003: Thessaloniki Summit; the EU perspective for the Western Balkans is confirmed.

February 2008: Kosovo unilaterally declares independence.

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 concludes that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general international law or Security Council Resolution 1244/99.

September 2010: The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution tabled by Serbia and co-sponsored by all EU Member States acknowledging the content of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on whether the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo is in accordance with international law and welcoming the readiness of the European Union to facilitate a process of dialogue between the parties.

March 2011: The EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade is launched.

January 2012: The visa liberalisation dialogue is launched.

October 2012: Feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo is issued.

April 2013: The First agreement of principles governing normalisation of relations is reached in the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

June 2013: Council authorises opening of negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Kosovo.

28 October 2013: First round of negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Kosovo.

More information at:

IP/13/930: EU enlargement priorities for 2014

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/strategy-and-progress-report/index_en.htm


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