Kosovo is making progress, step by step
In a meeting between President Barroso and Mr Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Kosovo, the progress of Kosovo, its relations with the EU, and visa liberalisation were the main topics addressed.
"Prime Minister Thaçi's visit is proof that Kosovo is realising its European perspective, and that it is engaging constructively on the key issues that will determine its European future and the well-being of all citizens," said President Barroso in his statement to the press after the meeting. He emphasised that 2013 could see a decision on opening negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement – if the required progress is made.
The President of the Commission mentioned that substantial progress has already been made on public administration reform, the protection of minorities and the Rule of Law. He pointed out that the results of the upcoming Dialogue between Thaçi's meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Dačić are critically important for EU relations with both Kosovo and Serbia, and wished the Prime Minister courage and wisdom for the days ahead.
On the visa liberalisation issue President Barroso noted that the Commission presented a first report on Kosovo's progress towards visa liberalisation last week together with the recommendations, and reiterated that "we are satisfied with progress on legislation. But Kosovo needs to do more on implementation."
"This week and the next months will be critical in realising an ambitious agenda for EU relations with Kosovo set by Council," concluded President Barroso.