Honoured Mrs. Apostolova,
Honoured Deputy Ambassador,
Honoured MPs,
Ladies and Gentleman,

Honoured Mrs. Apostolova,
Honoured Deputy Ambassador,
Honoured MPs,
Ladies and Gentleman,

Initially, let me express my pleasure to addressing to this roundtable in the capacity of Minister of European Integration and also to extend my gratitude to the Group for Legal and Political Studies for the initiative to discuss the SAA and the reforms to be undertaken. Likewise, let me express my commitm
ent to move forward the European integration process, whose dynamics I consider to be accelerated.

Besides being a success, the entry into force of the Stabilization and Association Agreement that made Kosovo for the first time to enter into contractual relations with the European Union, should also serve as an incentive to successfully implement the same in order to continue our journey towards the European Union. In this essential process for the Republic of Kosovo, the implementation of the SAA is our most important priority. Implementation of the SAA now requires alignment of legislation with EU standards and full implementation of legislation in practice. This will require political will, bureaucratic capacities and sustainable funding.

The Ministry of European Integration is already reviewing the National Plan for the SAA Implementation, which is a regular annual policy planning process for the SAA implementation. The purpose of the review is to update this program and draft short-term measures to be implemented during 2018. In order to monitor the implementation of the SAA, the first meeting of the SAA Committee in Brussels will be held in October, while the second the SAA Council meeting will be held in November.

In order to prioritize reforms ahead of us, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and the European Union have launched the European Reform Agenda, also known as ERA. ERA foresees implementation of 22 concrete priorities from a range of institutions. I will undertake all measures to ensure that all institutions are aware of their priorities and to provide the MEI support in the framework of this process.

SAA is a contract that we have signed with the European Union. At the moment of entering into this contractual relationship, we have pledged to meet the required criteria and implement this agreement. All 35 chapters of the SAA are clear with regard to the criteria to be met.

Reforms in every area and sector should be in the view of implementing the SAA as the only document that should be the basis for the reforms. All SAA chapters can be implemented by undertaking deep reforms in the respective sectors. Notwithstanding all the SAA chapters are important, I consider that priority should be given to reforms in the area of rule of law, approximation of Kosovo legislation to that of the EU, implementation of legislation, doing business area, protection of competition, promotion of education and employment policies as well as regional cooperation.

We must show commitment and seriousness in the implementation of the SAA, because our path and our future towards the EU will depend on this. I strongly believe that we cannot talk about a successful SAA implementation process without the involvement of civil society. MEI is currently working on creating a modality for the most active involvement of civil society in our work towards fulfilling our obligations arising from the SAA and we welcome any initiative or assistance from civil society.

Finally, let me reiterate the readiness of MEI and my personal commitment to work with all local and EU institutions, with the active involvement of citizens and civil society in the SAA implementation, prompting all institutions to undertake as many reforms required to fulfilling criteria as set out in the SAA.

Thank you for your attention!

Minister Bekim Çollaku
Bekim Çollaku

KOSOVO IN UNESCO