- LuxDev's country office
- Kosovo Office
- Decentralisation & Local Governance
- Partner execution agency
- Ministry of European Integration
- Implementation period
- 3 May 2018 - 2 May 2022
- Total duration
- 48 months
- Total budget
- 2,100,000 EUR
- Contribution breakdown
- Luxembourg Government
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.
HCDF activities continues in global uncertainty
Covid-19 as global crisis impacted in implementation of the activities. When possible, the activities are organised and held in distance offering new experience for the participants. The held activities are in the Chapters as shown below:
Chapter Free Movement of Goods Chapter
Training on Metrology is provided to 5 participants from the Kosovo Metrology Agency, Ministry of Trade and Industry and ex- Ministry of European Integration where the officials are trained on implementation of metrology surveillance.
Chapter Right of Establishment and Provision of Services
Technical Assistance is provided to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kosovo Business Registration Agency, Ministry of Public Administration and ex-Ministry of European Integration on Development of structures and clarification of rules and procedures for recognition of professional qualifications obtained abroad, the Report is delivered on the topic.
Chapter Public Procurement
Training of Trainers is provided for 10 officials from three institutions of public procurement (Public Procurement Regulatory Commission, Procurement Regulatory Body and Central Procurement Agency). Participants are certified as trainers in Public Procurement.
Chapter Company Law
Technical Assistance and the Professional Training is provided on European Corporate Governance Code. Beneficiaries are the Kosovo Business Registration Agency, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kosovo Council for Financial Reporting and ex-Ministry of European Integration.
Chapter Intelectual Property Rights
14 officials of the Agency for Industrial Property, Ministry of Trade and Industry and ex-Ministry of European Integration are trained on examining Industrial Property Objects based on EUIPO Guidelines for examination of registered community designs and trade marks.
Chapter Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy
Training of Trainers is organised for veterinary inspectors dealing with categorisation and collection of animal by-products. 16 officials of the Kosovo Food and Veterinary Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as ex-Ministry of European Integration are certified as trainers.
Chapter Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
Two Technical Assistance sessions on Drafting the Manual for setting up a Human Rights Monitoring System at the national level and Drafting the operational Manual for monitoring the implementation of the Ombudsperson's recommendations are provided . Beneficiary institutions are the Office of Good Governance, Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Non-Discrimination at the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Justice, The Ombudsperson’s Institution and ex- Ministry of European Integration.
KOSOVO-Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF) after the Covid-19 lockdown
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 :
- 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
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
KOSOVO - Air Pollution in Pristina
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
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
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
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”.