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Prime Minister Thaçi: The Feasibility Study confirmed that the state of Kosovo is ready to start official negotiations for a Stabilization and Association Agreement

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Prishtina, 15 October 2012

Today, the Ministerial Council on European Integration held its thirteenth meeting.

The following is the full text of Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi’s speech at this meeting.

Honorable deputy prime ministers,
Honorable ministers,

Today, we are meeting again to discuss the Government’s plan to address the recommendations of the Feasibility Study and negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement.

The Feasibility Study on a Stabilization and Association Agreement confirmed that the state of Kosovo is ready to start official negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement, which constitutes the first step toward membership in the European Union.

To this end, the Kosovo Government’s European policy will be based on three main pillars:

1.    Fulfillment in record time of the technical criteria for the start of negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement;
2.    Continuing key European reforms foreseen by the Feasibility Study, and respectively the preparation of an Action Plan for the Feasibility Study 2012; and
3.    Founding a negotiation structure and technical negotiation team with the European Union.

Allow me to spend some time on the first pillar as I believe Minister Çitaku will elaborate in detail on our priorities in the second and third pillars.

With regard to fulfilling the technical criteria for opening negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement, I would like to be very clear on the responsibility of each institution with regard to meeting these criteria. Allow me to address these criteria in detail and the institutions responsible, one by one.

I invite the police, prosecutors and judges to demonstrate a clear commitment to achieving concrete results in continuing an uncompromising war against organized crime and corruption. To this end, I offer you my full support and all my constitutional and legal authority.

The Ministry of Justice will continue its coordination and close cooperation with EULEX and the Special Investigative Task Force.

The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the Prosecutorial and Judicial Council of Kosovo must ensure that during the implementation of the new court structure, the competences of Special Prosecutors for cases of organized crime, war crimes and corruption, remain unchanged. Naturally, the responsibility of the institutions of Kosovo must always increase.         

The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the Kosovo Assembly, must work to approve as soon as possible the Law on the Confiscation of Assets. Now, the first reading has just passed.

The Ministry of Finance must review the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism in order to ensure its alignment with European Union legislation and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.

On behalf of the Government, I offer my full support to the Anti-Corruption Agency for the approval of a Strategy against Corruption in the Government and Parliament.

The Kosovo Government will meet all its obligations in record time.

I expect the Ministry of Public Administration to finalize necessary secondary legislation on Laws on the Civil Service and Wages.

The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Administration should work closely with the Ombudsperson Institution in order to clarify budgetary issues and space for the work of the Ombudsperson.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport should coordinate the establishment of a body that facilitates direct consultation with religious communities for the promotion and protection of cultural and religious heritage, especially with the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In addition, the Ministry of Trade and Industry should continue finalizing the restructuring of the ministry and making functional coordinating structures for trade negotiations between Kosovo and the EU. In addition, the analysis of the impact of trade aspects of the Stabilization and Association Agreement should be concluded.

Honorable deputy prime ministers,
Honorable ministers,

I expect you, in addition, to be extremely careful in addressing these criteria, and am grateful to you for the hard work being done.

The Ministry of European Integration’s service has already started to coordinate the monitoring of the fulfillment of these criteria. To this end, the ministries noted above will receive today a letter from me with the aforementioned issues and I expect these to be a factor orienting your work during the coming weeks.

So let us continue our agenda toward realizing our aspiration, goal and vision for a new Kosovo, which is democratic and European.

Thank you once again.

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