Prime Minister Thaçi: We are committed to embracing European values and we guarantee peace and security in the region
The following is the full text of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, at the opening of the third meeting of the Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue.
Respected European Commission representatives,
Respected Deputy Prime Ministers
Respected colleagues of institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the start, I would like to welcome all those present to this meeting.
It is my pleasure to open this regular annual meeting of the Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue.
The third meeting of the Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue is being held in a year when relations between Kosovo and the European Union are making a significant turn through the intensification of the European agenda.
We can say, therefore, that this year marks the formalization of Kosovo-EU relations.
For the first time in Kosovos history, we have made formal and concrete progress in advancing official relations between Kosovo and the EU. Through the Questionnaire and Feasibility Study, we are opening up a path toward starting negotiations to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement. In addition, this year we have formally received the visa liberalization roadmap and we have formally begun structured dialogue regarding rule of law in the European Union.
Allow me to reaffirm the Governments position, by emphasizing that we are entirely committed to Kosovos Euro-Atlantic integration as our key strategic goal, and we are fully aware that the process of integrating in the European Union is very complex and requires the maximum commitment from the Government and other parts of Kosovar society. We are committed to embracing European values and we will guarantee peace and security in the region and we will deepen cooperation with our neighbors in the region.
In the past, I have declared that my Government is fully committed to intensifying the dynamic of integration and I say this again today will full responsibility and determination.
Therefore, the intensification of political and technical dialogue with the European Commission, which is occurring these days, is contributing in a qualitative manner to moving Kosovo forward toward European Union integration.
In your presence, I would like to thank Mr. Zhbogar for his close cooperation in our meetings and daily work in Kosovo.
The opening of the door to Kosovos integration in the European Union by the European Union is very important not just for Kosovo, but also for the region and European Union. I would like to use this occasion to thank the European Union in my name, and that of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and all Kosovos people, for their untiring work in Prishtina, as well as the Kosovo Desk at the Enlargement Directorate in Brussels and the European Commission, in general.
The Kosovo Government is fully committed to strengthening institutional structure for integration in the European Union.
We are working to the maximum so that the European agenda becomes an indivisible part of the daily work of our Government. We worked this year and will work harder in the coming months and year, so that you at the European Commission have the necessary arguments to lobby to advance Kosovos integration.
In December 2011, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo approved a Working Plan for European Partnership 2012, a document which was approved this year six months earlier than it was in 2010 and which is a very important strategic and concrete document.
We worked together to conclude the first phase of the Feasibility Study for Kosovo, sending answers to the European Commission Questionnaire. In addition, we finished the fact-gathering mission of the European Union.
We have undertaken concrete measures and activities with regard to fulfilling all necessary criteria and approving Laws in the area of rule of law and which link to visa liberalization. Considering the progress reached and the importance of visa liberalization for the people of the Republic of Kosovo, we expect that the fulfillment of criteria by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo will be assessed transparently, on merit and according to defined regulations, as for each Western Balkan state.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, I would like to use this occasion once again to thank representatives of the European Union for offering their continual support to Kosovos institutions for membership in the large European family. I repeat that Kosovo is ready to intensify our cooperation to confront the new challenges facing us.
So, Kosovo is united, across the opposition and government and the entire Kosovar and national spectrum, with regard to Kosovos European prospects.
I invite all of you to engage in open discussion and to end this meeting with recommendations that will serve as a guideline for the work that must be done within the European Agenda.