Brussels, 18 July 2012
PR PCE 127
Statement by Herman Van Rompuy,
It is my pleasure to welcome President Atifete Jahjaga on her second visit to Brussels.
Today’s meeting gave us the opportunity to discuss recent domestic developments in Kosovo, our bilateral relations, and regional issues.
I confirmed the EU’s continued commitment to Kosovo’s European perspective and expressed my appreciation to President Jahjaga’s personal efforts in this regard. She has taken important initiatives to build internal consensus and promote Kosovo’s European future.
2012 has been a very productive year in EU-Kosovo relations. A new qualitative step has been taken with the start of the structured dialogue on the rule of law, the start of the visa liberalisation process and the preparation a feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
The latest results are encouraging and prove that Kosovo is making progress towards the EU. But there is still work to be done. The EU expects Kosovo to step up its efforts on the European reform agenda, in particular as concerns the rule of law, public administration reform, electoral reform and outreach to minority communities.
I have also encouraged President Jahjaga to work closely with the enhanced EU presence in Kosovo and to make the best use of expertise in the EULEX mission.
Finally, President Jahjaga and I discussed recent developments in the region, including the need to normalise relations between Pristina and Belgrade. The EU-facilitated dialogue has already led to clear and tangible results: 73 university degrees have been certified, the copying of Kosovo civil registry is underway, and there is an ID card regime enabling travel to and through Serbia.
It is now our joint challenge to ensure that all agreements achieved in the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue so far are fully and promptly implemented, in particular with regard to crossing points and regional cooperation. Furthermore, the parties need to address the situation in North Kosovo for the benefit of all people living there.
I remain convinced that continuing the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade is the best way to achieve progress and ensure further stability and development in the region, which is the ultimate goal for the EU.