President Thaçi: EU membership, provides long-term peace in the region

Skopje, April 27, 2018 - The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, participated today at the meeting of regional leaders, which was held in Skopje, in the framework of the “Brdo-Brione” process. The Summit was also attended by the President of the European Council, Donalt Tusk, and Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, whose country is chairing the EU presidency.

In his speech, President Thaçi has said that this Summit sends a message to all that our region has changed and is an example of positive developments, mentioning the organization of many regional meetings in these recent months.

“All these meetings have made it clear to all that today, the Balkan countries, communicate, talk, dialogue with each other as a tool to solve the open issues we have. But also as a means to clearly articulate our aspirations for our future”, he emphasized.

The Head of State has said that “Brdo-Brione” has served as an incubator from which many ideas and initiatives have emerged which afterwards have taken forms of regional cooperation and beyond.

“Above all, here, it is confirmed by all that our common aspiration is the membership of our countries in the European Union. This membership means a determination for sustainable peace, stability, development, prosperity for all of our citizens”, said President Thaçi.

According to him, all have welcomed the European Commission’s Strategy, which 15 years after the Thessaloniki Summit again clearly reaffirms that the door is open for all Western Balkan countries to join the EU.

“The Sofia Summit, of the EU and the Western Balkans, has a historical character and is a tremendous opportunity for us all”, he emphasized.

President Thaçi added that from this Summit we must draw the maximum possible, as in the issues related to the improvement of infrastructure, energy, interconnection, digitization, youth cooperation, education, etc.

“Above all, we must make it clear to the EU member states that we as candidate and aspirant countries for EU membership are ready for membership into the European Union”, said President Thaçi, adding that now it is necessary to use this created positive momentum carefully and without wasting time.

According to him, if we and the EU are late, then others who do not have a positive agenda for the region will increase the influence in our region.

President Thaçi has emphasized that in Kosovo we are committed to accomplishing our tasks. “Let me emphasize that among our recent successes has been the ratification of the Agreement on the demarcation of the border with Montenegro. The main achievement of this agreement is that we found the solution between Kosovo and Montenegro between us, without the mediation of any third party”, the President added.

The Head of State has said that Kosovo remains committed to the process of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, and in search of a final agreement, legally binding for both sides.

President Thaçi has reiterated that there is no other alternative besides dialogue. “We are ready to close the chapter of disagreements, hostilities and conflict, and to open the chapter of cooperation, good neighborliness and reconciliation”, added the Head of State.

Speaking about the Association of Serb-majority municipalities, President Thaçi has said that weeks ago, the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo have functionalized the Management Team, which is competent for drafting the Statute of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo.

“The drafting of the Statute is expected to be completed within 4 months, as foreseen by the Brussels Agreement. The establishment of the Association implies implementation by Kosovo of all agreements reached in Brussels. We hope that such a thing will encourage Serbia to implement all agreements in practice”, he added.

The President welcomed the joint statement to be issued by this Summit, and that according to him, the Declaration best summarizes our determination and aspiration.

“Moreover, the statement makes it clear that we have made great leaps forward, both as countries and as a region. We demand that these steps receive our appreciation, but also of the world, in particular of the European Union and the EU member states”, he said.

At the end, President Thaçi has said that he welcomes the readiness of Brussels to accept what we have said many times in this forum, that the European Union will be full only when all South-Eastern Europe countries are part of this community.

Within this Summit, President Thaçi has held meetings with his homologues from the region and the EU states.