Priština to ask to sign SAA

BELGRADE -- Priština will soon ask to sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, says the province’s deputy PM.

Hajredin Kuqi said that Kosovo would be in the final phase of European Union membership in three years time.

Kuqi told a press conference that the goal of the Kosovo institutions was to reach the necessary criteria for EU membership, adding that the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) would enable Kosovo to achieve European standards in the rule of law and socio-economic structures.

The IPA program was promoted in Priština yesterday and European Commission officials and local authorities both deemed it very important, because “with the resolution of the Kosovo status issue, Kosovo can continue with other European integration processes.”

The province will receive a total of EUR 130mn from the IPA program this year, said the Head of the European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo Renzo Daviddi, who added that the legal procedures for the launching the IPA program had begun, and that the project itself would begin next week.

As far as the association process was concerned, Daviddi said that this was the EU’s policy towards the west Balkans, but that before the agreement was signed, a large number of standards and criteria had to be met by every country that wished to become an EU member.

“Priština’s request to sign the SAA has not yet arrived, but now that Kosovo’s status has been settled, we can look at what measures need to be taken,” Daviddi said.