The second meeting of National Council for European Integration
Prishtina, July 3, 2012 was held on Second meeting of the National Council for European Integration under the leadership of the President of Republic of Kosovo Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo Assembly Mr.
Jakup Krasniqi, Prime minister of the Republic of Kosovo Mr. Hashim Thaçi,
EU special representative in Kosovo z. Samuel Zhbogar, Political parties leaders, Civil society officers, representatives of the economic Chamber and Science Academy.
The speech of the Minister Çitaku for National Council for European Integration
I can not to begin my speech without considering this year as one of the most successful years and crucial to the Republic of Kosovo and our citizens. This year has seen concrete activities that our citizens are able to touch and experience them. Yesterday we returned from Vienna where, together with the Prime Minister took part in the conference of the International Steering Group where was reached the decision that within this year will end the supervised independence of Kosovo. This is a direct result of the work of government and other institutions of Kosovo, which have proved that Kosovo is and will remain a country with high democratic values where human and his welfare are at the centre of attention. Kosovo has become a model for all other democratic states.
End of supervision of the independence will also affect other processes and particularly in Kosovo's path towards European integration. This is related to the European values and standards that Kosovo is intending to achieve. Kosovo has shown that, naturally, that her place is in the great European family where dominates values such as; democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights etc. To concretize this relationship, for the first time this year, Kosovo has entered into concrete relations with the EU. As a result of concrete work which is done by Kosovo institutions, including municipalities in particular, we received roadmap for visa liberalization. This is a great achievement but at the same time increases the pressure on our institutions to work even harder and more seriously to achieve the criteria for abolishing visas for our citizens. The ball has already passed on our side and we need to know how to lead it.
Ministry that I lead and the overall the government is committed to continue with serious work for which is rewarded with getting this roadmap. I can also say that I have seen great seriousness at the municipalities to increase their productivity as well as they will have a heavy burden in this process. All municipalities will have maximum support from me personally and the staff of the ministry that I lead.
Soon I will visit again all municipalities to see their achievements and their needs to deal with these processes. On the other hand the government has decided to establish Steering Committee on visa liberalization, which will be led by my ministry and I ask from all you to give maximum support on implementation of its work. Basic work of this committee will be exclusively roadmap for visa liberalization. Beside this, in cooperation with the European Commission we are working on a Feasibility Study which also marks an important step and which will open doors to start negotiations for signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement. This agreement would mark the first formal step towards full EU membership. I can say with certainty that the Government of Kosovo has been very professional in completing the questionnaire for the feasibility study and has had a comprehensive mobilization and who should be present at all times and in other processes. Verification Commission from the European Commission was very pleased and just confirmed what we have said in nearly 2.000 pages which we have delivered on the occasion of completion of that questionnaire. Due to this I thank all ministries and other institutions which have responded to all requests of my ministry. Having in mind this we are very confident that the Feasibility Study is expected to be released in September of this year to be positive and we will begin to negotiate the signing of the Stabilization Association Agreement.
Personally I`m very pleased that I am leading a very important sector but at the same time, a very unifying in all Kosovo political spectrum but also to nongovernmental organizations and all citizens of Kosovo regardless. This makes our European future safer and my job easier in terms of coordination of this entire process, but still remains much work to be done. National Council for European Integration is an important mechanism which reflects this unity and we must cooperate here with sincerity by supporting this process and by bringing concrete recommendations which could be reflected in the daily work of our institutions and our relationships with EU.
Civil society should be more engaged and to give its indispensable contribution to a democratic country. I assure you that all advice, comments and your various contributions will be discussed and considered seriously. The doors of my ministry will always be open to you. Only together can accelerate and facilitate the process of full integration of Kosovo into the European Union.
Thank you for attention!