The Republic of Kosovo currently has the status of a potential candidate member of the European Union (EU).
The EU Stabilization and Association process for Western Balkan countries was launched on 1 November 2000, as a frame for European policies for relationships between the EU and Western Balkan Countries until their eventual membership.
On 27 October 2015 Stabilization and Association Agreement between Kosovo and EU was signed in Strasbourg, France, and entered into force on 1 April 2016.
Stabilization and Association (SAA) is the first contractual agreement between Kosovo and EU. This agreement determines mechanisms and formal deadlines for implementation of all reforms which will progressively bring Kosovo closer to EU in policy areas, until all EU standards are met.
Within the framework of SAA implementation, on 10 March 2017, Assembly of Kosovo adopted the National Programm for implementation of SAA (NPISAA), which constitutes the main national document of the EU membership policies. NPISAA presents a comprehensive mid-term framework of the reforms needed to meet the obligations deriving from SAA, respectively measures and priorities for gradual approximation of the domestic legislation with EU acquis through transposition of the latter into it and for implementation of the approximated legislation.
Kosovo institutions have also adopted the European Reform Agenda with the aim of setting priorities for meeting the obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
The Assembly of Kosovo is directly elected by the citizens and they are accountable to them. The Assembly of Kosovo adopts laws that are then implemented in the entire country. One part of the EU accession process includes harmonization and approximation of national laws with EU standards. This often seems complicated and very distant from the daily life of citizens, especially if it is a long-term process. Therefore, the Assembly of Kosovo and their members play a special role in bringing these issues, ideas and values closer.
The Assembly of Kosovo is the key participant in the accession process. It reflects national opinion and represents diversity amongst citizens. The Assembly of Kosovo oversees the entire process and represents national interests of Kosovo.
Tasks of the Assembly of Kosovo within the framework of accession to the EU can be grouped in four areas of activity as follows.
With the adoption of laws, the Assembly ensures transposition of EU acquis into the Kosovo legal system.
The Assembly also oversees the implementation of the adopted legislation, NPISAA and European Reform Agenda.
The Assembly authorizes the government to represent country’s positions in the accession process and to closely oversee government activities during the entire process. Even though the government is the key actor in the enlargement process, detailed parliamentary scrutiny ensures the possible political consensus.
The Assembly is the source of information for the general public regarding the EU integration.
Through its activities, it is responsible for strengthening the values of transparency and information exchange.
Parliamentary diplomacy is of great value in the enlargement process, for strengthening international reputation and support to Kosovo. Regular contacts with the European Parliament and parliaments of the EU member states, as well as regional parliamentary cooperation, are key to success of the integration process.
Committee for European Integration (CEI) is one of the four main committees and key actor in the Assembly of Kosovo for EU integration issues.
The involvement of CEI in the legislative process is mandatory; they deal with reviewing all draft laws and amendments submitted in the Assembly from the aspect of approximation and harmonization with EU acquis. Following the entry into force of SAA, the burden of legislative work has largely increased. Therefore, currently the main activity of the committee is related to approximation with EU legislation.
Within the framework of monitoring the executive, CEI was entrusted the oversight of government activities related to EU, including approximation and harmonization of legislation. With this aim, they can require information and specific data, and they can initiate public hearings with ministers and other officials.
In accordance with Rules of Procedure, scope of duties and responsibilities of CEI also includes cooperation and coordination with EU institutions and their offices in Kosovo, cooperation and exchange of best practices with EU member states, participation as well as oversight of the Stabilization and Association process, oversight and coordination of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), monitoring donors and EU cooperation programs, cooperation with the European Council.
In general, CEI holds two to four meetings per month and there are usually several items in the agenda. The CEI meetings are open for public and civil society representatives are regular participants at those meetings.
Commencement of the Stabilization and Association Process for South Eastern Europe
Declaration of the EU-Western Balkans Summit
Communication from the European Committee European Future for Kosovo
Joint action for establishment of EULEX in Kosovo
Declaration of Kosovo Independence
EULEX becomes operational
Communication from the European Committee Kosovo-realization of its European perspective
European Committee opened the dialogue for visa liberalization
Kosovo declares the end of supervised independence
Visibility study for SAA
Initiation of SAA through EU and Kosovo
Signing of the SAA
Kosovo Assembly adopts NPISAA
SAA entered into force
European Committee proposes to the EU institutions visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens
Kosovo Government adopts the European Reform Agenda to maximize economic and political benefits of the Stabilization and Association Agreement
European Committee confirms that Kosovo has met all the criteria for visa liberalization