“Kosovo is Europe”: EU Stresses Kosovo’s European Future

Written by | Monday, May 9th, 2016

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini visited Kosovo last week where she attended talks about the country’s future in Europe. “Kosovo is Europe”, she said, and it is important to continue on the long road to European integration. Ms Mogherini emphasized the need for all Kosovo to unite behind the European agenda and she praised the progress behind recent positive developments: “It’s great to be here to share the celebrations for something that is really important, and that we have wanted so much, that is a result of so much hard common work we have done”.

Ms Mogherini also commented on the Association Agreement and visa demands, saying that these are “much awaited by Kosovars and that they also have very symbolic and political meaning”. She reassured Pristina that Brussels is working on its European integration in the EU. Ms Mogherini’s visit came just after the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo had come into force on 1 April. Moreover, last week the European Commission proposed to the Council and the European Parliament to remove visa requirements for the nationals of Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and gained diplomatic recognition by most 108 United Nations members as a sovereign state. Serbia, just like five other EU Member States, does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, although it has normalized its relations with Pristina and accepted the legitimacy of Kosovo institutions following the Brussels Agreement of 2013. The EU itself has no official position towards Kosovo’s status but it retains a Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo and facilitates a dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. Kosovo is one of only two Muslim-majority territories on European mainland. The main ethnic groups are Kosovo Albanians, who are a majority, and Kosovo Serbs.

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