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.
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