The Kosovo Government held its regular meeting
Pristina, 19 April 2017
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo, chaired by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, held its 142rd regular meeting in which it approved decisions in the area of constitutional and legal responsibilities.
The first point to receive the cabinet's approval was the initiative for the conclusion of the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in the case of natural and other disasters between the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania. The agreement is intended to assist in capacity building and rapid response in the event of natural and other disasters, to assist and cooperate in the field of civil protection, in particular with regard to planning and preventive measures to get protected against floods, earthquakes, snow storms, fires, pollution, marine accidents, radiological pollution and other disasters that come from human activity, mutual assistance in protection, search and rescue, and the elimination of the consequences of natural disasters and other disasters.
The government also approved the decision on the establishment of the Kosovo Tourism Council. In the wake of the Government's overall efforts to improve tourism development and to enable economic growth in Kosovo, in accordance with the Government's program, the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the Kosovo Progress Report 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is actively committed for the development of tourism policies and aims to improve the tourism supply and to increase the number of tourists in Kosovo.
The establishment of this council aims to represent all the main stakeholders related to the development of tourism. The legal basis for the establishment of the Tourism Council is the Law 04 / L 176 on Tourism which foresees the establishment of a Tourism Council composed of 7 members and two observer members, who are represented at line ministries level for the development of tourism. The role of this Council is to enhance dialogue and cooperation between the private and public sectors with the aim of proposing policies and plans for tourism development, promoting the Council, advising and giving recommendations to MTI, as well as developing tourist and catering standards to increase the quality of services.
At today's meeting, the Government also approved the final decision on expropriation and compulsory establishment of the servitude for public interest on privately and socially owned properties that will be affected by the implementation of the third phase of the Project for the Construction of the New Water Factory in the Village Shkabaj.
Even the decision to suspend the implementation of the Regulation on the appointment of lawyers ex officio and the provision of free legal aid was approved by the cabinet. This regulation was approved on 30 June 2016 by the Kosovo Bar Association and is the result of a cooperation agreement between the Kosovo Bar Association, the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and the Kosovo Police for the establishment of a coordinating mechanism for litigation defense at public expense in the criminal case concluded on 26 April 2016. This regulation was disputed by a group of lawyers who submitted the assessment of the legality of this regulation to the competent court seeking from the Ministry of Justice to initiate the procedure for suspension of the implementation of the regulation until the court renders a decision on this case.
The cabinet also approved the decision for transfer of staff and reallocation of funds to integrate the staff from the contingency fund of the so-called "Civil Protection". Pursuant to Article 4 of Regulation no. 2 on the areas of administrative responsibilities of the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministries, as amended and supplemented by Regulation no. 7/2011 and Article 19 of the Rules of Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo 09/2011, the approval of the decision on the transfer of staff from 50 officials was proposed as well as the funds in an amount of 31, the contingency fund foreseen in Annex to Government Decision 06/39 of 22 July 2015 for the implementation of the Brussels Agreement on the dissolution of the so-called "Civil Protection" and the integration of its former staff into the civilian institutions of the Republic of Kosovo. This decision rounds off the implementation of the agreement on the dissolution of the so-called "Civil Protection.
Upon request of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Kosovo Government decided to withdraw the Draft Law on Higher Education from Assembly procedures of Kosovo.
At today's meeting, the cabinet was briefed on the meeting of the SAA Sub-committee on Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxation between the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo and the European Commission. At this meeting, held on 6 April 2017, progress on the implementation of the SAA and reforms were discussed, including last year's conclusions, challenges and measures to be taken in the coming months in a number of sectors, such as in trade, Industry, customs, taxes and free movement of goods were agreed upon.
In briefing the Cabinet, the Minister of European Integration also underlined that there was a discussion about the priority measures of the European reform agenda and the economic reform program for these sectors.
In the trade sector, recent developments regarding the legislative framework, SAA implementation, trade signatures and CEFTA implementation have been discussed. Part of the discussion was also the free trade agreement with Turkey. The Committee announced that it is considering the best options for improving the implementation of the Pan Euromed Regional Conventions on rules of origin as one of the conventions deriving from the SAA on trade with the EU. In the Customs area, a discussion was developed on the collection of customs revenues and the fiscal implications of SAA implementation. The European Commission commended the progress made by Customs in combating smuggling and corruption, as well as measures that Customs has taken to facilitate trade, international cooperation and administrative capacity. Our institutions were urged to preserve good practices in the course of merging of Customs and TAK. While in the area of taxation, institutional development has been discussed, including changes in tax policy, merging the revenue and information technology system into one single agency. One of the most important points, was the fight against informal economy, where the implementation of a strategy for preventing and combating the informal economy was discussed, including monitoring and reporting, as well as reviewing the action plan to address sectors with the highest risk potential. Regarding industry and small and medium-sized enterprises policies, there was a discussion on the legislative developments and the main industrial policies. The focus was on the legislation on commercial companies, bankruptcies, economic zones and issues that are part of the economic reform programs and the European Reform Agenda that are concerned with improving the environment of doing business. In the field of free movement of goods, developments regarding quality infrastructure have been discussed, including the legal framework for standardization, metrology, general inspections, technical requirements and conformity assessment. In particular, in this area, it is important to ensure alignment with EU directives and regulations and industrial capacities, given that this area is of primary importance for the SAA implementation in trade with the European Union. Official conclusions were drawn up and agreed between the parties based on the discussions at the meeting and the proposals of the European Commission. Part of the conclusions were also the measures of actions that our country has to implement in the next one year period in the framework of the implementation of the SAA and the European agenda, "the minister said.