Remarks of President Jahjaga at the inaugural meeting of the Consultative Council for Communities

This new composition of the council is a result of an open and transparent electoral process that has begun with the nomination of the candidates for the council members, on June 22nd and was followed by signature, by mu side, of the decisions for accreditation of the representative organisations of the communities that have fulfilled the accreditation criteria.

Honourable (new) members of the council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I would like to wish you a warm welcome at this inaugural meeting of the Consultative Council for Communities.
 
This is an important moment for the institutions of Kosovo as this marks the continuity of a state organ, constituted through a democratic process.
 
This new composition of the council is a result of an open and transparent electoral process that has begun with the nomination of the candidates for the council members, on June 22nd and was followed by signature, by mu side, of the decisions for accreditation of the representative organisations of the communities that have fulfilled the accreditation criteria.
 
On July 31st, I nominated the new members to whom, with your permission I would like to wish successful work and may you represent your respective communities in best possible manner.
 
Republic of Kosovo, a sovereign and democratic state, is built on civic principles. The Constitution and laws of Kosovo guarantee equal rights and freedoms for all communities irrespective of their ethnicity, race or religion.
 
Upholding and respect for the rights and freedoms of the communities is an essential platform of the institutions of Kosovo.
 
We, the leaders of the country, have proved the political will to include the communities that live in Kosovo in the public and institutional life and to be participants in the decision making processes.

Through this active participation in social, political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, ethnic communities help in preservation, cultivation and promotion of their identity, promoting at the same time the rich diversity of our country. This diversity is respected by state institutions and by the majority population in Kosovo.

We are dedicated to base the integration of the ethnic communities upon this respect.
 
The Republic of Kosovo represents an excellent example in treatment of the communities. As you know, 20 seats are reserved for communities at the Parliament of Kosovo; at the Government of Kosovo communities are represented at Deputy Prime Minister Level, as well as Ministerial and other important levels. Through the decentralisation process, ethnic minorities were given the opportunity to govern with the municipalities where they are in majority.
 
Despite the continuous efforts made by the institutions of Kosovo, the situation in the three municipalities in the north of Kosovo continues to remain a challenge for us.
 
We believe that the best solution for the integration of the Serbian community into the institutions of Kosovo is through the implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan and decentralisation process, as implemented in the other locations in Kosovo where this community resides.
 
Serbian community at three municipalities must be liberated from the criminal groups that hold their future hostage. They must take part in legitimate elections that are organised by the institutions of Kosovo and must elect their legal and legitimate representatives.
 
The Government of Kosovo has opened the Administrative Office in Northern Mitrovica and the institutions of Kosovo are ready to dialogue with all its citizens, including the citizens of the Leposaviq, Zubin Potok and Zvecan municipalities in a manner to address and solve all the issues.
 
Honourable members,
 
Our country has undertaken some important steps towards the European integrations. In June this year we have received the Visa Liberalisation Road-Map, while at the end of March, also this year, we received the Feasibility Study questionnaire and have already submitted our answers. We expect that by the end of this year we will be issued a positive evaluation by the European Commission for the beginning of the negotiations for Stabilisation-Association Agreement (SAA).
 
In order to help in advancement of the European integration agenda, in March this year I have established The National Council on European Integrations where the vast number of political parties are participants of, which have supported the establishment of the Council as a mechanism that aims to create social consensus and coordinate and implement the necessary reforms.
 
Also, in order to actively support the attempts to fight the organised crime and corruption, at the beginning of this year I have established the National Anti-Corruption Council, whose role is to coordinate the work of the institutions mandated to fight corruption.
 
Honourable Council Members,
 
Allow me to once again congratulate you on your new tasks and engagements and wish you a lot of success in your work.
 
I expect that this Council, with its new composition, will continue in fulfilment of its mission as it did until now, in correct representation of the interests of the communities, in offering of a new constructive forum for the issues it takes upon itself to evaluate and in defence of the Constitutionality and Legality, issues that deal with the full guarantee of the rights and freedoms of the communities in the Republic of Kosovo.
 
We are building Kosovo as a civic state, where all the people, regardless of their national, religious, racial background or their size and regardless of the area of the country they live in, they enjoy equal rights and freedoms, with a joint aim to build a democratic society and clear intention to become members of the European Union and NATO and in permanent friendship with the United States of America.
 
Congratulations and Successes.