Kosovo and EU held 1st SAA Sub-committee on Transport, Environment, Energy, Climate and Regional Development
Officials from Kosovo and the European Commission met in Pristina to discuss developments over the past year in the areas of Transport, Environment, Energy, Climate and Regional Development. The discussion was held in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) which entered into force in April 2016. In all areas, the Commission and Kosovo agreed on the importance of implementing the European Reform Agenda and Economic Reform Program priorities.
On the environment, the Commission expressed concern at the very limited progress in this area which is of great importance to Kosovo citizens and the quality of their health and lives. In particular, the Commission expressed concern at the limited progress on air quality monitoring and asked for implementation of immediate measures to reduce the levels of air pollution. On waste management, it encouraged more effort on developing an efficient waste management system across Kosovo.
As concerns climate action, Kosovo has yet to start implementing EU rules to combat the impact of climate change. It was agreed that Kosovo needs to adopt and implement the strategy and action plan on climate change.
The latest legislative and policy developments in the area of transport were also discussed. The Commission underlined the need to continue the development of projects to help establish the core transport network for the Western Balkans. Both sides agreed on the need to continue reforms, including strengthening the independence and capacities of regulatory institutions, in the transport sector and to take concrete measures to improve road safety, in the interest of citizens.
As regards energy, the Commission stressed the importance of finalisation of a new comprehensive long-term energy strategy that should clearly define Kosovo's priorities in this sector, including plans on meeting international commitments such as decommissioning Kosovo A, refurbishing Kosovo B and implementing the 3rd energy package. The Commission underlined the importance of significantly boosting Kosovo's efforts on renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the establishment of a supporting financial mechanism for financing energy efficiency.
The importance of regional development was also stressed.
- The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) is the framework for the EU and the Kosovo administration to regularly discuss technical and policy issues in relation to the European agenda. The SAA bodies include the Stabilisation and Association Council, assisted by the Stabilisation and Association Committee, as well as SAA Sub-Committees, which cover a wide range of the EU acquis. The meetings of the SAA bodies provide direct input into the European Commission's annual reports.
- Each Sub-Committee meeting monitors and accompanies Kosovo's delivery on reforms and identifies how the EU can assist in this process.
- There are seven areas covered through sectorial meetings of sub-Committees, on Justice, Freedom and Security; Innovation, Information Society, Social Policy, Education and Culture; Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxation; Internal Market, Competition, Consumer and Health Protection; Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Food Safety; Transport, Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Regional Development; Economic and Financial Issues, Statistics.
- Two other areas covered through the meetings of special groups are the reform of the public administration and normalisation of relations with Serbia.
- SA Committee and Sub-Committee meetings are co-chaired by the European Commission and Kosovo. Each meeting results in jointly agreed follow-up actions to be taken by the Kosovo authorities. The conclusions from the meetings will be available soon on the website of the EU Office in Kosovo.