Kosovo determined to be integrated into EU
Aiming towards a path of Euro-Atlantic integration, Kosovo signed a stabilization and association agreement with the European Union (EU), Kosovo’s main trading partner.
The agreement is said to mark a milestone to spur economic prosperity in one of the poorest nations in Europe.
The historic agreement will give opportunities for Kosovo’s companies to export to EU countries without customs tariffs. Thus paving the way for Kosovo’s products be introduced around European countries.
In addition, the agreement is a step toward full membership into the EU.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by more than 100 countries amid opposition from other EU nations.
US Hails Move By Kosovo
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby said the October 27 signing of a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Kosovo marked a major milestone on Kosovo’s path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.
“We welcome this strong sign of Europe’s continued commitment to Kosovo and congratulate the leadership and people of Kosovo for their hard work in achieving this goal.” – Mr. Kirby
Mr. Kirby underscored that the SAA will bring tangible benefits to all in Kosovo.
In addition, the US is looking forward to its rapid approval by the Kosovo Assembly.
Kosovo and Serbia Making Progress on Road to European Integration?
In February 2012, Serbia and Kosovo reached an important agreement at EU-facilitated Dialogue that will pave the way for Serbia’s gaining official “candidate” status to join the European Union.
The agreement underlines conditions under which Kosovo can be represented at regional fora and a technical protocol on Integrated Border Management.
Kosovo is given the chance to sit at the table in regional fora as an equal partner, representing and speaking for itself.
The United States supports the aspirations of both countries to achieve lasting peace and prosperity and to complete their European integration.
In September 2011, Serbia’s President told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that Serbia cannot accept Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence.
President Boris Tadic stressed that it will also not abandon the negotiations process between Belgrade and Pristina.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, but Serbia does not recognize the declaration.
Many minority ethnic Serbs in Kosovo have refused to recognise the authority of the mainly ethnic Albanian government in Pristina.
Tension between Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority and ethnic Serbs has led to deadly violence in recent years.