“Remove the restrictive measures!” – Prime Minister Kurti: We have fulfilled all the requirements of the EU

albin kurti

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said that the state has fulfilled all the requirements of the European Union for the removal of the restrictive measures that the bloc has imposed on Kosovo.

The European Commission imposed punitive measures against Kosovo a year ago due to the escalation of the security situation in the north of the country.

Kurti said that last week the EU approved the Economic Growth Plan – worth 6 billion euros – for the Western Balkans, one of the goals of which is the acceleration of the region’s membership in the bloc.

“The measures, which are in force against Kosovo, contradict the efforts of the region for accelerated integration in the EU, especially in the Growth Plan and its purpose. On the other hand, we are continuing with our efforts to open up more opportunities within the reform dialogue with the EU. In this context, we have fulfilled all EU requirements for the removal of restrictive measures and these measures must be removed”, Kurti said during the meeting of the Ministerial Council for European Integration on May 2.

The measures imposed by the EU on Kosovo included: the temporary suspension of the working groups for the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the non-invitation of Kosovo to high-level meetings and the suspension of bilateral visits.

Also, the programming of funds for Kosovo, which were planned to be delivered through the Investment Framework in the Western Balkans and IPA 2024 (Pre-Accession Instruments), was suspended.

After the punitive measures, Kosovo was left out of the grants that the EU approved in July last year, in the amount of 2.1 billion euros.

At the end of April, several diplomatic sources in the EU told Radio Free Europe that most of the bloc’s sending states are in favor of lifting all measures against Kosovo, while a smaller number of states want their removal to be done gradually.

According to these sources, no EU member state has expressed against the lifting of the measures.

During the meeting of the Ministerial Council, Kurti also spoke about Kosovo’s aspirations to become a member of the European Union.

He said that Prishtina is ready to receive the status of a candidate country and open negotiations for membership in the bloc.

“We believe that EU membership should be based on meritocracy. As the most advanced democracy in the region, we are ready to answer thousands of technical questions coming from the European Commission. Compared to the region, Kosovo is not only ready for the candidate status, but also to open the negotiations and the many chapters for membership. Membership in the European Union is a strategic choice. We have made elections, therefore the Agenda of European Reforms in our Government, since the beginning of the mandate, has been treated very seriously”, declared Kurti.

On December 15, 2022, Kosovo applied for EU membership. Kosovo is the only country in the Western Balkans that does not have the status of a candidate country for membership in the bloc.

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