Speech of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga at the Fourth meeting of the National Council for European Integration

The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madame Atifete Jahjaga has met today with the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr. Stefan Füle, with whom she discussed about the developments in Kosovo and about its European agenda.
Mr. Füle has also attended the fourth meeting of the National Council for European Integration, headed by President Jahjaga.

Below is the speech of President Jahjaga at this meeting:

Honourable Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Kuçi,
Honourable ministers, deputy ministers,
Honourable Mr. Fülle,
Honourable Chairman of the Democratic League of Kosovo,
Honourable Chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo,
Honourable members of the National Council on European Integration,
Honourable media representatives,
Honourable citizens of the Republic of Kosovo;

Republic of Kosovo has fulfilled the short term criteria identified in the European Commission’s Feasibility Study. We have moved forward with opening of the negotiations on Stabilisation and Association Agreement and establishment of the contractual relations between the Republic of Kosovo and European Union.

This Agreement will enable us to further consolidate the European agenda of our country and overall reform process throughout in all sectors of the society. I am convinced that through our joint endeavours, we will receive a positive evaluation from the European Union, for the start of negotiations on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in June this year.

Through the National Council for European Integration, we coordinate the overall interinstitutional efforts. The drafting of a national strategy on European integration is very important process and we expect to conclude it not later than June this year. The strategy will help us harmonize the priorities, obligations and concrete responsibilities of each and every one and as a measuring scale for the progress achieved.

Kosovo, as well as the rest of the Western Balkans, has a clear European perspective. All countries of the region have their own path towards membership, an individual path, but conditioned on mutual cooperation with each other. The Balkan region is building a new vision of its future, through establishment of good neighbourly relations which in turn opens the path of integration into European family. Mutual support between all sovereign and independent states of the region towards development of bilateral and multilateral relations in this process is necessary and this support must be all inclusive, complete and sincere.

The integration of Kosovo into the EU has no other alternative. The European agenda is an agenda that unifies us all, all citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious or political background. This path requires the strongest efforts from our side in order to accelerate the pace of internal reforms. Institutions and the society bear the responsibility towards the realisation of this aim, the advancement of our European agenda.

Reforms that we must undertake are not undertaken only for the sake of European integrations, but for our wellbeing- for our citizen and the future of our generations.

We, the Republic of Kosovo, are the only country in the Balkans that has not realised the principle of free movement of citizens into EU. Despite a large presence of international missions in Kosovo, since the end of the war up today, we have not fulfilled the criteria for visa liberalisation. This leaves Kosovo isolated, denying the opportunities currently enjoyed by the citizens of other countries of the region.

Institutions of Kosovo together with the European Commission are already working towards drafting of an action plan on Visa liberalisation. We have still a lot to do- particularly in the field of Rule of Law and Order, document security, border management and migration, and fundamental rights. We remain dedicated to accomplish all the remaining criteria before the end of this year.

On this path, we count on continuous help and support of the European Union and EULEX, EU mission in Kosovo.

Honourable participants,

Our dedication to the path of European integrations must turn into concrete actions which will enable, initially, the fulfilment of our internal reforms and finally, the establishment of a modern and democratic state based on European norms and standards.

Our internal stability, democratic functioning of order and rule of law in the whole territory of the Republic of Kosovo, as well as advancement of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution to each citizen of Kosovo, is a permanent effort of ours.

There are no shortcuts on the membership into European Union and we are not interested in such a path. We are interested to fulfil all the conditions and implement all standards as only in such a manner can we create a stable state and a democratic society.

I reiterate our dedication towards strengthening of the legal state.

I strongly reiterate our dedication in turning our war against corruption and organised crime into one of the most important efforts of our society. There should be no doubt whatsoever –we shall not make any compromises in this battle!

We must continue to address all the necessary reforms which will enable to accelerate the integration process, including the Public Administration reform. We will continue to bring our legislation in conformity with the Acquis Communitaire. We will continue to implement all laws because, as we may be satisfied with the process of drafting the laws, we are not satisfied with the effective implementation of those laws in practice.

The Republic of Kosovo is a state of law and order with separation of powers between legislative, executive and judicial branches. Judicial independence is the basis of a democratic state that we are creating, and the guarantor of its functioning. The debate in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo for a court case is considered interference in the independence of the courts.

Honourable participants,

We have demonstrated that we are an example of regional cooperation, a promoter of good neighbourly relations and a factor of peace and stability.

We are currently at an important stage of the dialogue process with Republic of Serbia; process led by the European Union and strongly supported by the United States of America.

We will continue to play this constructive role. We are convinced that dialogue process is the only way to normalise relations between our two states, in the interests of our citizens, of cooperation and peace and stability in the region.

We are dedicated in this dialogue to find acceptable solutions, for the people and countries, for all citizens; solutions in accordance with the highest European standards. Sustainable and voluntary solutions which will be successfully implemented.

I would like to thank the Commissioner Fülle for his participation at today’s Council meeting and for his continuous support of the enlargementpolicy and the European perspective of Kosovo and other countries of the region. Enlargement policy and the process of internal reforms are part of the same process, process that is important for the countries of the region and the project of a whole Europe and in peace.

Honourable members of the National Council on European integration,
I would like to, at the same time with your discussion points, we make a concrete evaluation of the path we have achieved and of the tasks awaiting us in the near future.

Thank You!