Minister Hoxha: The Enlargement Strategy includes Kosovo just like other countries, we should work and advance the integration process
Prishtina, 27 March 2018 - Today, was held a discussion titled "Kosovo, the Presidency of the Council of EU and the New Western Balkans Strategy - What to Expect", in which participated Dhurata Hoxha, Minister of European Integration, Nataliya Apostolova, Head of the EU Office , Nedyalcho Danchev, Ambassador of Bulgaria, Gernot Pfandler, Ambassador of Austria and Augustin Palokaj, moderator. This discussion was organized from German GIZ.
In the introductory speech, Minister Hoxha stressed that the publication of the Enlargement Strategy a few weeks ago was good news for Kosovo and the region in general, because for Kosovo it is clearer its position and the Western Balkan countries have a European perspective, provided that relevant reforms are undertaken.
"The fact that the EU treats the process of Kosovo's accession to the EU separately from Serbia is for us a recognition of Kosovo's statehood, despite the lack of recognition by some EU member states and the resistance that some states have shown that Kosovo not to be included at all in this strategy", said Minister Hoxha, by adding that the reforms required by Kosovo are substantial and affect the most important sectors, which are clearly defined in the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the European Reform Agenda and the Economic Reform Program.
"Kosovo should be focused on empowering the rule of law, security and migration, social and economic development, and relations with neighbour countries.
All areas in which the European Commission's Strategy requires focus and progress are indispensable for Kosovo. The fact that these areas are explicitly mentioned should mobilize Kosovo's institutions for more intensive work for reforms", said Minister Dhurata Hoxha.
This Strategy has made it clear that the EU will not import problems, which is a message to Serbia that it should continue the dialogue with concrete objectives and will not be able to join the EU without solving the problem with Kosovo. This strategy, she stressed, has shown to Serbia that dialogue is indispensable for both sides, and that is very important because Serbia needs to understand that dialogue will only be concluded with a mutually acceptable agreement.
"During the Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies this year, I believe that the focus should be on the implementation of this Strategy and the way ahead on how Kosovo can benefit, where we certainly expect the support of both countries", said Minister Hoxha, by pointing out that Kosovo expects to have unreserved support, especially in the undertaken reforms which undoubtedly must reflect what is required by the Strategy.
Coordination will be welcomed with regard to the key reforms that will be undertaken during this year, said Minister Hoxha, and believes that the joint work will enable satisfactory results and progress in Kosovo during 2018.
In this discussion participated also several citizens who contributed to this matter, and in the end were drawn the conclusions.