Friday

28th Apr 2017

Kosovo eyes EU membership in 2015

  • Pristina wants to become an EU member in 2015 (Photo: UNMIK)

Two months after unilaterally seceding from Serbia, Kosovo has made it clear it wants to join the EU, setting 2015 as its accession goal.

"After independence, our national aspiration is to join the EU," Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday (23 April).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"This is our goal, our forecast and our commitment," Mr Kuci added, while describing EU membership as Pristina's "top priority" and a "way to prosperity, democratisation, and more security."

Kosovo is set to seek "clear signals" on its eventual membership prospects as early as next week's meeting EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg (28-29 April) - something that could cause a political headache, given that a number of EU member states refuse to recognise the infant country.

Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain and Slovakia are seen as most reluctant to approve Kosovo's unilateral move towards independence.

Mr Kuci said his country would seek recognition by all EU capitals in order not to be blocked later in the "long and toilsome" accession process.

"We need to deal more with political activities - especially with integration of minorities - and stability of the institutions and parliamentary governance, to fulfil Kosovo's commitments towards the international community," Mr Kuci said.

He cited the economy as the biggest challenge, saying Pristina needs to turn from a survival economy to a competitive one.

Serbia's EU perspective still frozen

In a separate interview with AP news agency, Ramush Haradinaj - former prime minister and ex-commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s - suggested that Pristina should reach out to the Serbian minority to win its support for Kosovo's independence.

"At this stage, we should present a proper offer as well as interpret that offer in a good way toward the Serbs in the north with the benefits that will come if they join and accept that offer," Mr Haradinaj said.

EU foreign ministers are next week also due to discuss Serbia's EU bid, currently hanging by a thread.

Belgrade was in February offered an interim political agreement on closer trade relations, relaxed visa requirements and educational cooperation, but the offer was turned down by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

Referring to the deadlock, Slovenian President Danilo Turk said on Wednesday (23 April) that the bloc was likely to wait until after the country's elections on 11 May, the outcome of which is seen as crucial for Serbia's further EU integration.

"Whatever happens has to be based on respect of the Serbian readiness to deal with this issue. We have to take their elections seriously and we should not see the European element as decisive," he was cited as saying by Reuters.

Many member states have been pushing to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Belgrade - the first step towards EU membership - but the Netherlands and Belgium firmly oppose such a move.

The two countries say that Serbia must first fully cooperate with the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, meaning arresting and handing over war crimes indictee Ratko Mladic.

EU urges Turkey to investigate election fraud

The EU called for a transparent investigation into alleged irregularities during the referendum in Turkey, which gave sweeping powers to president Erdogan. It added that reinstating the death penalty would end the country's EU bid.

Serb minister love-bombs EU

The EU and Serbia have moved a step closer despite regional tensions, with a Serb minister calling the EU "the best place in the world".

EU urges Turkey to investigate election fraud

The EU called for a transparent investigation into alleged irregularities during the referendum in Turkey, which gave sweeping powers to president Erdogan. It added that reinstating the death penalty would end the country's EU bid.

News in Brief

  1. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  2. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  3. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  4. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies
  5. Report: EU parliament says FN jobs cost €5mn
  6. Turkey suspends 9,000 police officers
  7. May hosts Juncker at Brexit dinner
  8. 700,000 people granted EU asylum

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act
  3. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  4. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  6. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  7. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  8. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  9. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  10. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  11. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?

Latest News

  1. EPP group frustrated with Orban
  2. Verdacht gegen Russland bezüglich Macronhacking
  3. 'Serene' EU warns UK against Brexit 'illusions'
  4. EU telecom watchdog plan dead on arrival
  5. Russische Fake-News überschwemmen die sozialen Medien Frankreichs
  6. EU agency stuck with London rent bill
  7. EU anti-fraud office ditches Martin Schulz probe
  8. Commission launches bid to make Europe social