Commission welcomes green light for negotiations with Kosovo* on EU programmes
The European Commission welcomes the Council's decision authorising the Commission to start negotiations with Kosovo for a framework agreement enabling Kosovo to participate in EU programmes. Once the agreement has been negotiated and signed, Kosovo will have the possibility to participate in all EU programmes that are open to all other countries in the Western Balkans. "This is a welcomed move which brings Kosovo a step closer to benefiting from EU programmes, like all other Western Balkans countries. We will now start negotiations with Pristina on the draft framework agreement in consultation with the Council," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said.
The Commission proposed a draft mandate to negotiate a framework agreement in March 2011. Participation in EU programmes will help Kosovo to become familiar with EU policies in a wide variety of policy areas and sectors, and help Kosovo to further the necessary EU-related reforms.
Once the framework agreement has been negotiated, agreed and signed, Kosovo will be able to participate in any EU programme that is or will be open to potential candidates benefiting from the EU's pre-accession strategy, provided it meets the criteria for participation. These criteria are specific for each programme and essentially concern administrative and financial capacity. The terms and conditions for submission, assessment and selection of applications from Kosovo will be the same as for other potential candidates.