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KSV/019
Technical Assistance in the Context of European Integration of Kosovo

Information

Country
Kosovo
LuxDev's country office
Kosovo Office

Sector
Decentralisation & Local Governance
Partner execution agency
Ministry of European Integration

Implementation period
May 2018 - May 2022
Total duration
48 months

Total budget
2,100,000 EUR
Contribution breakdown
  • Luxembourg Government
    2,000,000 EUR

  • 100,000 EUR

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to Kosovo’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU), which has entered into force in spring 2016. The SAA is the first document establishing a contractual relationship with the EU, and provides, for a period of 10 years, the main reference framework for Kosovo’s progress towards European integration.

In order to meet its SAA obligations, Kosovo needs to engage in further democratic reforms, achieve social and economic development, and progressively align with EU legislation and standards, so that it is able to fully implement the EU “acquis communautaire” (the accumulated body of EU law and obligations from 1958 to the present day) upon accession.

The national counterpart of the project, the Ministry for European Integration (MEI), provides political and administrative leadership for all European Integration (EUI)-related processes.

The Ministry has the necessary structure and legal powers. Line ministries have dedicated Departments of European Integration and Policy Coordination (DEIPCs) to deal with the integration process. Still, their skills and expertise, along with those of ministries’ legal departments and the main technical units in charge of EUI, need to be strengthened considerably.

Current assistance programmes offer capacity development but these are often highly targeted and of limited flexibility. The MEI has therefore asked the creation of a flexible Human Capacity Development facility.

The facility, which will be entirely managed by the MEI, will provide:

  • training / training of trainers;
  • TA and coaching;
  • study tours and secondments to member state institutions involved in acquis implementation;
  • in-depth research of EU policies to support the formulation of national policies.

In order to do this a training-fund financed by the project will be created within the National Budget. Technical and administrative assistance provided to the MEI to help with implementation.

The main beneficiaries of the project are the MEI as the main coordinating institution, as well as line ministries and national-level independent institutions and agencies engaged in the implementation of the acquis.

KSV/019 is also to contribute to the implementation of a new national strategy for communication and information on the integration process.

Latest news

  • KOSOVO-Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF) after the Covid-19 lockdown

    Published on 16 October 2020    By Vildane Minci   EN

    Immediately after the lockdown, the activities interrupted by Covid-19 continued and others were initiated. Due to the situation and preventive measures in force, activities were organized respecting social distancing and through online platforms.

    Training of Kosovo Business Registration Agency (KBRA). Central and municipal staff on the use of the electronic business registry system.

    The interrupted training “Enhance capacities of Public Finance Management Coordination Group (PFMCG) to draft the Public Finance Management Reform Strategy (PFMRS) related annual reports”, as the third pillar of Public Administration Reform provided to the Ministry of Finance and Transfers has continued and was concluded in July.

    Technical assistance on the European Corporate Governance Code on the chapter of Company Law was implemented and a follow-up training will be provided later on when the circumstances allow.

    Several training sessions on Network Security, Linux, EMC were provided in the chapters of :

    • Justice;
    • Freedom and Security; and
    • Public Procurement for the beneficiaries from the Kosovo Police and Public Procurement Regulatory Commission (PPRC).   

    Contracts with different experts have been signed for training and technical assistance in six different Acquis Chapters activities. Close coordination with the beneficiaries is currently being undertaken in order to start implementation as soon as possible. 

     

    The "Technical Assistance in the Context of European Integration of Kosovo" programme, KSV/019, is funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation and implemented by LuxDev.​

  • KOSOVO - Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF) activities during the months of global uncertainty

    Published on 27 July 2020    By Vjosa Morina   EN

    Regardless the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the new measures in place, some activities continued and some started being implemented on the different Acquis Chapters and horizontal measures that HCDF covers. Those chapters are the Freedom of Establishment, Food and Veterinary and the horizontal measure on Public Administration Reform.

    On Freedom of Establishment chapter, a technical assistance was provided to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) in the field of Regulated Professions. This expertise serves as the grounds of MEST’s work on finalizing the sub-legal acts foreseen in the law and in taking all actions and measures to begin full implementation of the Law on Regulated Professions.

    On Food and Veterinary chapter, trainings were provided to the Food and Veterinary Agency including veterinary inspectors, border veterinary inspectors and contracted veterinarians on five different regions of Kosovo. These 5 trainings were held focusing on the importance of enforcing the regulation on animal identification and registration at the levels of premise/farm, livestock markets, slaughterhouses and livestock transport. The trainings started their implementation in March but due to the pandemic they had to stop and start again in June.

    Whereas, for the Public Administration Reform, two expertise and a training were provided to the Ministry of Finance to enhance the capacities of Public Finance Management Coordination Group to draft the Public Finance Management Reform Strategy. These interventions will assure the timely and a qualitative reporting system on Public Finance Management implementation.

  • Kosovo - Gaining best practices from Croatia on credible financial reporting systems.

    Published on 26 May 2020    By Vjosa Morina    EN

    During March, the main Kosovo bodies that work on drafting the legislation on financial reporting, accounting and auditing, were part of a study visit in Croatia, with the objective of gaining best practices on creating a credible financial reporting system and empowering public oversight structures of financial reporting and auditing. This activity falls under the “Company Law” Chapter of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) of Kosovo.


    Meeting with the Croatian Ministry of Finance

    Participants were able to learn more about Croatia’s practices in terms of organisation, implementation of international standards, capacity building in monitoring, regulating, licensing and drafting the annual register of financial reports and their use as a source of information for macro analysis at the national level. The information on the importance of financial statement in the investment sector will affect the orientation of state policies for investments in certain sectors. Furthermore, on the legal side, the participants will be able to contribute to the development of a methodology for quality supervision and control of audit firms and legal auditors, good practices and results of quality control, annual register and their publication.


    Meeting with the Croatian Financial Agency


    Meeting with the Croatian Ministry of Economy

  • KOSOVO - Human Capacity Development Facility in 2019

    Published on 14 February 2020    By Vjosa Morina   EN

    Following the planning of Human Capacity Development Fund (HCDF) for 2019, the Ministry of European Integration (MEI), in cooperation with other beneficiary institutions, started with the implementation of different activities within the different chapters it supports.

    During October- December 2019, eight activities were implemented in the chapters of: Free Movement of Goods, Intellectual Property Law, Judiciary and fundamental rights and the horizontal theme on Public Administration Reform.  Around 85 participants benefitted from these capacity building activities.

    Participants have reported on the activities and committed in sharing the gained knowledge and experience with their peers in the respective institutions and departments.

    As a result of these activities:

    • The Government coordinated the work and finalised the Guidelines for drafting the Government Work Plan as foreseen in the Concept Document for the Indicative Forward Work Plan (IFWP);

     

    • The Government has further developed the analysis for the Concept Document on Administrative Burden Reduction, which aims to establish a broad programme for the reduction of administrative burden and modernise the overall legal framework.

    Institutions dealing with human rights protection have increased their capacities in performing reforms and fulfilling obligations towards the European Union Integration (EUI) Process in this field.

    The Agency for Property Rights has gained good practices in promoting industrial property and examining brands based on EU practices as presented in European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) guidelines.

    Officials gained practical experience from National Accreditation Bodies on assessing Conformity Assessment Bodies and evaluation of equipment, as requirements that derive from ISO standards on assessments, in the specified fields of oil and construction products. 
    The Government coordinated the work and developed the Concept Documents based on Guidelines and Manual for Developing Concept Documents. Tool 15 from this manual describes how the policy analysis performed by the European Union can be used to develop Concept Documents and to prepare for the implementation of the EU Acquis in Kosovo

    During 2020, HCDF will continue with the implementation of the activities already planned in the Operation Implementation Plans and work on the planning for the coming project periods.

  • KOSOVO - Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF)

    Published on 26 December 2019    By Vjosa Morina   EN

    In the framework of their donor assistance programmes, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of Norway are supporting the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to meet the requirements of the Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU).

    As the implementation of the Facility has been delegated to the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, the Ministry of European Integration (MEI), is appointed to implement the Facility in the name of the Government. HCDF brought together all line ministries, national-level institutions and agencies that are involved in implementing the EU law in Kosovo.

    In order to meet its SAA obligations, Kosovo needs to engage in further democratic reforms, achieve social and economic development, and progressively align with EU legislation and standards, so that it is able to fully implement the EU acquis upon accession. These beneficiary institutions have all committed to use HCDF as an added value and tool to achieve their institution’s goals towards fulfilling their obligations deriving from the SAA.

    Starting from specific trainings of different departments and agencies, to technical assistance in writing legislation that Kosovo has had no previous experience on, HCDF is supporting the increase of capacities of all officials involved in 18 EU Aquis Chapters, on Public Administration Reform and communication efforts on the implementation of the SAA.

    The main coordinating institution, MEI, together with the beneficiary institutions have planned all activities to be implemented throughout 2019.

    HCDF has already started with some activities which affect the horizontal theme on Public Administration Reform, EU Chapter Aquis on Judiciary and fundamental rights, Intellectual property law, while the other planned activities will be implemented until the end of year. In parallel, MEI and beneficiary institutions are planning the activities for the next year of HCDF.

  • KOSOVO - The Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) celebrates its third anniversary.

    Published on 16 May 2019    By Vjosa Morina   EN

    The European perspective of Kosovo was confirmed by the signing of the SAA. Stabilisation and Association agreements are part of the EU’s “Stabilisation and Association Process” (SAP) and ”European Neighbourhood Policy” (ENP). The SAA’s main aim is to facilitate the gradual approximation and integration of the country with the European Union. For this, it covers all key criteria that Kosovo needs to achieve in order to become a member of the EU:

    • being a functioning political democracy and the rule of law;
    • having a competitive economy able to withstand the competitive pressures of the EU Single Market and having the ability to fulfil the obligations of membership – i.e. the implementation of EU law - “acquis communautaire” – in Kosovo.

    The depth of the policy harmonization expected by SAA is less than for EU member states; some policy areas in the Acquis may not be covered.

    This April, the Kosovo SAA marked its third anniversary, and HCDF staff was part of the event that brought together a panel of the Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, Head of EU Office Ms. Nataliya Apostolova and the Ambassador of Finland Ms. Pia Stjernvall.

    Mr. Haradinaj once again confirmed that Kosovo’s was resolutely committed to EU integration and the SAA defined the work that the institutions needed to accomplish in order to fullfill the criteria and standards for Kosovo to achieve accession.

    Ms. Apostolova emphasized that the SAA was the biggest investment in the future of Kosovo and it should be of high priority to all institutions and political leaders. It offered guidance for improving the work of institutions in all relevant fields and most importantly improving the lives of Kosovo citizens.

    Ms. Stjernvall said that it was important to focus in fully implementing the SAA, not only because it was required to do so but for the sake of citizens. All citizens wanted a better life for themselves and SAA offered the opportunity for a better, equal and more transparent society.

    In this regard, the Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF), supported by the Governments of Norway and Luxembourg, will contribute to developing human capacities in Kosovo institutions to assist them in fulfilling the requirements that come from the SAA. The Facility is based within the Ministry of European Integration, as the main coordinating institutions, and focuses on the development of capacities of the line ministries and national-level institutions engaged in the implementation of the EU Law in Kosovo. Currently the HCDF is performing in-depth consultations will the beneficiary institutions, which are expected to soon result in concrete activities that institutions will implement autonomously, strengthening their human capacities in transposing and better implementing EU Law.

    20190401_1033222.jpg

     

  • KOSOVO - Air Pollution in Pristina

    Published on 30 April 2019    By Arta Hoxha   EN

    shutterstock_1020405739_copy.jpg

    Air pollution is a critical environmental problem around the world. Many health issues, including mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, lung cancer and intrauterine growth restriction (low birth weight at term), are associated with poor air quality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015 polluted air was responsible for 6.4 million deaths worldwide. Globally, this is greater than deaths caused by AIDS (1.2 million), tuberculosis (1.1 million) and malaria (0.7 million).

    Poor air quality remains a challenge in urban areas across Kosovo. The Air Quality Index (AQI), described in table 1, is followed by the United States Embassy in Pristina and shows that the air quality is far below the healthy breathing levels on most days during the winter season, as can be seen in figure 1. During the last two years, the AQI has reached values as high as 500, which is considered hazardous for health. The main sources of contaminants are power plant emissions, residential coal or wood burning and vehicle emissions.

    Table 1. AQI categorisations

    ar1.png

    Note: To make it easier to understand, the AQI is divided into six categories as presented in this table.

    Source: United States Embassy in Pristina

    Figure 1. AQI in Pristina, 1 January 2017 – 1 April 2019

    art1.png

    Note: AQI data from 01 January 2017 – 1 March 2019

    Data Source: Environmental Protection Agency Air Now

     

    According to an analysis conducted by the World Bank in 2013, the air pollution in Kosovo is estimated to cause 852 premature deaths, 318 new cases of chronic bronchitis, 605 hospital admissions and 11,900 emergency visits each year. As reported by the same analysis, the estimated health costs of air pollution in Kosovo were between 38 and 163 million EUR a year, with a midpoint estimate of 98 million EUR, or 2.3 percent of GDP in 2010.

    During an event organized by UNICEF related to the health impact of air pollution in Pristina, Dr. Ruthus Edwards, whose research focuses on human exposure to air pollution emissions and subsequent health effects, suggested a number of measures that can be taken to reduce emissions from the household sector, which in turn would contribute to the improved air quality in Kosovo. Such measures include:

    - Expansion of district heating for central urban areas;

    - Usage of heat pumps or other zero household emission technologies;

    - Improvement of energy efficiency;

    - Transition to renewable energy sources to decrease sector emissions.

    During this event, the Minister of Health, Uran Ismaili, expressed his concerns about the health impact of air pollution in Kosovo and asked for a better coordination among local and central government units as well as international organisations to address this issue.

    Nevertheless, given the current lack of a strategic roadmap to reduce the health impact of air pollution in Kosovo by addressing the root cause of the problem, temporary solutions had to be thought of. For instance, LuxDev in Kosovo has provided its employees with N95 air pollution masks, which can reduce their exposure to the polluted air when it exceeds the healthy breathing levels and provided indoor air filters for all offices.

  • Kosovo - Launch of project KSV/019

    Published on 12 June 2018    By Alessandro Gambella/Arta Hoxha   EN

    The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Kosovo was negotiated between October 2013 and May 2014, it was initialed in July 2014 and the EU Council agreed to its signature on 22 October 2015. It entered into force in spring 2016. The SAA establishes a contractual relationship between the EU and Kosovo that entails mutual rights and obligations. Its signature confirms Kosovo’s European perspective.

    KSV/019, launched on 5 June 2018, aims to strengthen the human resources of Kosovo’s administration in key sectors of EU legislation in a sustainable manner.  LuxDev, the Norwegian Embassy and the Ministry of European Integration (MEI) will implement a Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF), which will provide trainings, technical assistance, in depth research of EU policies, study tours and secondements to the relevant administration personnel. In addition to the HCDF, LuxDev and the Government of Kosovo will both allocate funds to the MEI to strengthen its communication on the SAA.

    During the launch event, the Minister of European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha, explained the importance of such project for Kosovo’s progress towards the EU accession:  “Our institutions are committed to progress on the Stabilisation and Association agenda. The integration process requires reforms in many sectors and capacity development is a key factor in its success. In addition to capacity building for SAA implementation, through this project we are also strengthening the integration mechanisms. For our Ministry, this initiative is of special importance since for the first time the implementation is done directly by the Ministry of European Integration with the assistance of LuxDev and the Norwegian Embassy in Kosovo”.