Pristina, 30 January 2014 – The Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) Dialogue meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security sectorial committee was held in Pristina this week, from 28-30 January. In the course of three days the Kosovo Government and European Commission discussed developments in the areas of fight against corruption and organised crime, the independence of judiciary,the issues around readmission, reintegration and border management and other migration issues including visa policy and asylum.
The first part of the discussion covered also civil registries, the protection of personal data, and document security. The second part of the meeting was dedicated to fundamental and human rights and the protection and respect for the minority communities. These issues are defined as key priorities and as most challenging for Kosovo’s progress towards EU integration.
On the fight against corruption and organised crimeparties exchanged views on progress and existing challenges. With regards to the fight against corruption, emphasis was on the work of institutions on delivering results, the need for improved inter-institutional cooperation and the prioritisation of corruption. On the fight against organised crime focus was on confiscation of assets and money laundering as well as fight against trafficking of human beings and narcotics. Emphasis was put on the need to develop a sustainable track record.
With regards to the judiciary parties discussed cooperation with EULEX, whereas the Kosovo authorities gave an update on the functioning of the courts, prosecutorial offices and relevant Councils, judicial reforms and enforcing of the property rights.
During the discussion onelectoral reform the Commission urged the Kosovo institutions to move ahead and finalize the legal framework, in compliance with the EU recommendations and the findings of the Election Observation Mission of the last local elections.
In the area of fundamental rights, the importance of effectively implementing existing legislation and Strategies and Action Plans was underlined. Parties agreed that awareness raising campaigns,also on local level, are very important as well as coordination between national and local level.
As regards, protection of and respect for the minority communities it was assessed as important to prioritize actions in the Actions Plan for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, for those that are to be implemented during 2014 as well as to develop policy commitments for the period of up to 2020. Budget for actions needs to be secured.
The SAP Dialogue meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security, the conclusions of which will feed into this year’s Progress Report, is organised together with the Ministry for European Integration.