Opening Remarks of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga, at the Inaugural Meeting of the National Council for European Integration

Under the direction of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, the inaugural meeting of the National Council for European Integration took place today. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Štefan Füle, Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, President of the Assembly of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, other high officials of the institutions of the country, political party leaders and representatives of civil society.

At this meeting, Mr. Füle handed the heads of the country the Document of the commencement of the Feasibility Study for the Stabilization and Association agreement for Kosovo.

Before the beginning of the inaugural meeting of the Council, President Jahjaga had a separate meeting with Mr. Štefan Füle, Commissioner for EU Enlargement, with whom she discussed about a range of issues of interest, on the work of the National Council for European Integration, its role, about the further integration of minorities, about the dialogue and the necessity of the implementation of the agreements arising from this dialogue and other issues.

Below we will bring the opening remarks of the President at the inaugural meeting:

Honorable Assembly Speaker of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honorable Prime Minister,
Honorable Mr. Mustafa,
Honorable, Mr. Füle,
Honorable Members of the Council,
Honorable Ambassadors of Quint countries,
Respected media,
Dear citizens of the Republic of Kosovo,
 
I wish you a warm welcome to the inaugural meeting of the National Council for European Integration of the Republic of Kosovo. As the President of the country, I have established this council by a special decree, specifying the Council’s powers and scope.

The foreign policy of the Republic of Kosovo, and especially its path of European Integration, along with its cooperation and friendship with the United States of America, is of vital importance to our country, for our domestic and international affairs, considered as a unique and comprehensive process.

Republic of Kosovo, a sovereign and independent state, is built upon the civic principle that all people, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or race, regardless of the community size they belong to and regardless of which part of the country they live in, they enjoy equal rights and freedoms.

Kosovo and its people are oriented towards and belong to the European civilization, as a pro-western direction of all citizens without distinction.

The path of the Republic of Kosovo towards integration in the European Union and NATO is our will and goal for which all political groups, as well as all nationalities living here, have reached a unanimous consensus.

We are fully aware that this path is not a reward, but it is a comprehensive mechanism requiring the fulfillment of conditions and standards that, us as institutions as well as a society, have the will to do so. 

This road has no alternative and as a country and a people, we can and should contribute towards the European architecture of free and equal nations.

Kosovo and the whole Western Balkans, or the whole South East Europe, have made progress in the path of European integration, which is an irreversible process beneficial to all countries in the region.

The purpose of the National Council for European Integration, which functions under my authority as the President of the country, is to coordinate and harmonize, in an effective and concrete manner, institutional policies and all other relevant factors.

Civil society in this regard has an important role.
 
The fulfillment of the procedures, norms and standards that apply in all the fields of life and work, with our engagement, will become more rapid and complete.
 
Dear all,
 
The integration of our country in the European Union is a process outmost importance, not only for us as a new state and society, but also for all countries in the region and for the European Union itself because the process cannot be considered successful without the full membership of the Western Balkan countries.

Countries should cooperate and help each other in this path because good neighborly relation between countries and peoples is a golden rule of a United Europe and it is one of the main preconditions of integration policy.

For this very reason, I have supported and considered the dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia taking place in Brussels, as highly beneficial for both our countries since this is not only the best way but also the only way through which we can normalize our relations and the only way how we can make Serbia fulfill its obligations, accept the reality on the ground and behave according to international norms and rules in its neighborly policy.

We as institutions have the commitment and the will; we have also built the mechanisms through which we can meet our obligations in the benefit of our citizens.

Our policies are completely transparent; we take the finding of progress report very seriously and we treat them as duties and obligations with concrete deadlines for changes and improvements.

Today’s meeting is an indication and evidence that all of us: institutions, political parties, academic community and civil society, and all the citizens, have the will to contribute and undertake the responsibility to accelerate the pace of European integration by joining our efforts for a successful process.

The National Council for European Integration, as a comprehensive mechanism, will serve in this function and aims to build institutional and social consensus; it recommends the concrete actions in the European integration process and seeks the necessary support to implement reforms.

Therefore, at this stage it is crucial that we create a political and social platform, with purpose of ensuring along this path a clear and stable course of the country towards full integration in European Union.

As the President of the country I will undertake every constitutional and legal action to increase the efficiency of the work of institutions and society to get involved and give a concrete contribution to accelerate the dynamics of integration into the European Union.

As institutions, as a society and as individuals we must all be responsible and committed that everyone, where necessary, to contribute for Kosovo to be a place of order and rule of law, a place where we all have an honor to accomplish the tasks, standards and requirements that advance our country in realizing the goals with purpose of achieving the European agenda and Kosovo to become a member of European Union.

I use this opportunity to praise the contribution of the Ministry for European Integration as a concrete engagement and commitment in monitoring and implementing all that is necessary so that Kosovo joins the European Union as soon as possible.

Kosovo and EU in its relations have made a very important step by launching the visa liberalization dialogue and start of the Feasibility Study for Stabilization and Association Agreement, that will enable us through upcoming period to conduct and overarching analysis on our readiness in political, economic and legal fields.

This puts Kosovo in the context of European Union policies for the Western Balkans towards establishment of contractual relations.

We are honored to have here today the Commissioner for EU Enlargement Mr Stefan Fule who will speak about the importance of the process that Kosovo is in its European path that also marks beginning of a new phase in the European Union and Kosovo relations that is the foundation of the EU policy towards Western Balkans and a crucial step towards membership.

As always in this path we will all be together everyone equal in its action contributing as far as we can and as far as we know, helping each other and always respecting the constitutionality and legality.

I wish you success,

Thank you!