President Thaçi in the Netherlands: Kosovo is a success story

The Hague, April 23 – At the invitation of the Dutch Institute for International Relations “Clingendael”, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, in front of many state representatives, diplomats, journalists and civil society representatives held a lecture on “The Vision, Challenges and Opportunities for Kosovo”.

He has said that peace and justice are two fundamental issues for every society, especially for those in transition. He has further added that the Hague is a place where Kosovo’s independence was legally confirmed by the International Court of Justice.

“Following this Advisory Opinion in 2010, the political dialogue began between Kosovo and Serbia. The dialogue produced a historic agreement in Brussels, exactly five years ago. This happened after more than a hundred years of conflict”, he added.

President Thaçi in The Hague has stressed that it is also the place where a part of the justice system in Kosovo is now settled, proving Kosovo’s readiness to always cooperate with the international justice.

“We are proud of our fight for freedom and we have nothing to hide or to be afraid of the truth. No one has ever tried to escape or hide from justice - compared to other states in the region”, he added.

Speaking about the state-building in Kosovo, President Thaçi has said that only ten years ago, Kosovo declared the newest Republic in Europe and now we can proudly look at the achievements over the decade which has passed.

Given our initial position, according to him, it has been a great challenge and of course that during this trip we had challenges and successes.

In front of many attendees, President Thaçi said that the growth foreseen for 2018 is nearly 5 percent, as foreseen for 2019 as well, while Kosovo has signed new investments of over 1 billion Euros last year, particularly in the energy sector.

According to him, Kosovo is a success story, but Kosovo still has many challenges, just like all other Western Balkan states.

President Thaçi has counted the three most important challenges, where first of all is the conclusion of the dialogue with Serbia. He has said that Kosovo is open to find solutions.

“Both Kosovo and Serbia want to be part of the European Union and the two states know we must recognize each other. The EU will not accept us with problems. We need a legally binding agreement. I know it will be extremely difficult for both sides, and above all for Kosovo. But I am convinced that dialogue and agreement are the only way forward”, he added.

According to him, the second challenge for Kosovo is economic. He said that Kosovo is continuing to mark growth, but needs to create more jobs.

“We need to focus on new economy and new opportunities. It’s not easy and we still have to do more structural reforms”, he added.

President Thaçi said that the third challenge has to deal with the integration of Kosovo into NATO and the EU, where, according to him, Kosovo is working on meeting the democratic criteria in politics, economy and legislation.

President Thaçi, after the lecture, has discussed with representatives of the Dutch state, diplomats, ambassadors, journalists and representatives of civil society.

He also participated at the presentation of the biographical book “New State, Modern Statesman”, with authors, Roger Boyes and Suzy Jagger. The presentation of the book has been made at the Dutch Institute for International Relations “Clingendael”.