Visit of Hashim Thaçi, Kosovan Prime Minister, to José Manuel Barroso: extracts from the joint press briefing
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 19/02/2013 First transmission: 19/02/2013
On 19 February 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Hashim Thaçi, Kosovan Prime Minister, held a joint press briefing following their meeting.
The progress of Kosovo, its relations with the EU and visa liberalisation were the main topics addressed during the meeting.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in ENGLISH) saying that Kosovo is making progress, step by step; during their very good and open discussions, he has emphasized that now is the moment to make that progress decisive and to accelerate the pace of reforms; this may be a crucial year for EU/Kosovo relations; as pointed out by the Council, 2013 could see a decision on opening negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement – if the required progress is made; this is a crucial week in this important year, and they all look forward to Prime Minister Thaçi's meeting with Prime Minister Dačić of Serbia in the fifth round of the Dialogue; they hope that it will take place in the same constructive spirit as their previous meetings.
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||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) saying that they have also discussed progress with respect to a future Stabilisation and Association Agreement; the European Commission is committed to issuing negotiating directives for such an Agreement with Kosovo in spring 2013 - provided Kosovo makes further essential progress on the remaining priorities identified in last year’s Feasibility Study; substantial progress has already been made on public administration reform, the protection of minorities and the Rule of Law; and he understands that Kosovo has committed itself to addressing the fourth priority – trade - by mid-March 2013; finally, they also discussed the issue of visas, which he knows is a key concern for many in Kosovo; the Commission presented a first report on Kosovo's progress towards visa liberalisation the previous week; they are satisfied with progress on legislation; but Kosovo needs to do more on implementation, and they have issued detailed recommendations to that effect.
||SOUNDBITE by Hashim Thaçi, Kosovan Prime Minister, (in ALBANIAN) saying that he is very attentive and he knows that they have to do a lot in increasing the citizen's trust in their own institutions; they will continue jointly together to cooperate with the EU institutions to establish a close cooperation with EU legs so that they can implement the rule criteria in all Kosovo as well as combating negative phenomena such as corruption, organised crime.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Hashim Thaçi (in ALBANIAN) saying that as leaders they bear responsibility for generations to come in normalizing relations with Serbia as two independent and sovereign States; they will meet as two Prime Ministers of the countries to discuss further steps to achieve a new agreement and normalize the Kosovo/Serbia relation.
||José Manuel Barroso and Hashim Thaçi leaving