Minister Hoxha Request More Work from Institutions for the Integration Agenda
Prishtina, 29 March 2018 - At the Government meeting, Minister of European Integration Dhurata Hoxha discussed on two topics related to the European Integration process. The first issue consisted of the Kosovo Country Report, whereas the second issue related to Good Governance and Rule of Law, implementation of the Action Plan for the Rationalization of Agencies, and the continuation of appointments to senior positions in public service without political interference. On this occasion, Hoxha invited the institutions to meet the conditions, adding that the Country Report for 2017 is not expected to be very optimistic.
As part of preparation of the Country Report, Hoxha emphasized that her Ministry has coordinated the submission of two contributions from state institutions, which constituted the input toward delivery of all relevant information to the European Commission.
“The report will provide two levels of assessment for each chapter, i.e., the overall level of compliance with European standards, and the progress achieved since the last report of 2016,” said Hoxha, adding that a realistic report is expected of the situation in Kosovo, which has not changed much since 2016 in most chapters.
Further, Hoxha briefed the Cabinet on the current state of implementation of the ERA Action Plan by the end of March, as well as the steps agreed with line institutions to complete the remaining actions and meet the deadlines. She underlined that these steps were agreed at the meeting of the working committee, which she chaired on March 15 in the presence of all responsible institutions.
“Regarding the first pillar, namely Good Governance and Rule of Law, we expect the implementation of the Action Plan for the Rationalization of Agencies, as well as the continuation of appointments to high positions in public service without political interference,” stated Minister Hoxha, explaining that the Criminal Code is expected to be approved, and so is the Draft Criminal Procedure Code by the end of June.
According to Hoxha, the Assembly should continue with the approval procedures regarding the Draft Law on State Prosecutor and the Draft Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest. The legal package for the Civil Service, salaries and the organization of public administration is expected to be approved by June of this year.
In addition, Hoxha said that as regards the second pillar, namely Competitiveness and Investment Climate, the update of the online Register of Permits and Licenses has commenced and should be approved by April 15.
Staff recruitment of the State Aid Department is expected to be completed by the end of April, said Hoxha, adding that the Action Plan of the Strategy for Fight against Informal Economy should be finalized by the Ministry of Finance during April.
In terms of the three sub-protocols (on Customs, Police and Phytosanitary control) deriving from the 2011 Agreement on Rail Transport with Macedonia, Hoxha said that so far there have been delays by the Macedonian side, but there are efforts in place to ensure that they are signed at the meeting of the two governments to be held this month.
Continuing her briefing, Hoxha stated that the Draft Law on Energy Efficiency is in the final stage of preparation by MED and its approval is expected by the end of April. She further informed that, under the third pillar, namely Employment and Education, the Regulation on the Advisory Board of the Employment Agency has been finalized and will be adopted soon, at one of the upcoming meetings of the Board.
Concerning the provision of the necessary budget for the implementation of the Strategic Education Plan and the functionalization of the Agency for Curriculum, Standard and Assessment, additional funds have been requested from the Ministry of Finance and additional donor funds will be required.
“During April I will convene the next meeting of the Working Committee to examine how much we have made progress in fulfilling the actions we had agreed upon and will keep you informed about the progress of the implementation of the respective actions,” concluded Hoxha.