EU-Kosovo: Further step to consolidate rule of law
The European Commission and Kosovo have launched the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law in Brussels today. The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stressed it was designed to help Kosovo to address the challenges in the field of the rule of law, with the focus on the judiciary, the fight against organised crime and corruption. This is what Commissioner Füle said to the media after the session: "It was a great day today for the relationship between Kosovo and the EU and it was a great day for Kosovo. We started the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law and at the same time, in the presence of my colleague Cecilia Malmström we have discussed the state of play on the Visa Roadmap. Everything is now set up for Cecilia to present the roadmap formally to Kosovo authorities later in June. Click on the news item title for full text and conclusions.
The Structured Dialogue is not a way around the accession process; it is not a substitute to the European aspirations of Kosovo. It is a way how to get Kosovo even closer to the EU. We talked and discussed today the areas of judiciary, fight against corruption and fight against organised crime.
I made a point that this is an expression of our new approach, not only towards Kosovo but towards the whole region. However, Kosovo is among the first countries to benefit from this new approach focusing on chapter 23 and 24 dealing with basic principles and values of the EU like rule of law, judiciary, fundamental rights. I appreciate very much the presence of very important interlocutors, the Deputy Prime Minister, the two Ministers, chairmen of the parliamentary committees, presidents of the Prosecutorial and Judicial councils and others. That has really shown the commitment of Kosovo authorities.
We started a process today, but it will not be about political discussions once every 6 month at the high level. There will be concrete work in between, we have defined institutional framework where the work will be moved forward. We agreed on the very clear link between EULEX and the Structured Dialogue. We have also made it clear that number of important issues would be discussed in the Stabilisation and Association process dialogue with Kosovo. I am happy to deliver today on yet another important element on what heads of states agreed in December in the Conclusions and I look forward to delivering in the months to come - not for the benefit of someone here in Brussels but first of all for the benefit of all citizens of Kosovo. "
(Find the adopted Conclusions from the first session of the Dialogue here)
Today’s launch was attended also by European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hajredin Kuçi, Minister for Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi and Minister for European Integration Vlora Çitaku.
The Structured Dialogue on the Rule was Law was announced at the publication of the 2011-2012 Enlargement Strategy in October 2011. In its Conclusions of 5 December 2011, the Council welcomed the Commission's intention to launch a Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law.