A Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo was signed today in Strasbourg. For the EU, it was signed by Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, while on the Kosovo side it was signed by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and Minister for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Bekim Çollaku. “This agreement opens a new phase in EU-Kosovo relations. It is an important contribution to stability and prosperity in Kosovo and in the region as a whole. I look forward to its entry into force,” High Representative Mogherini said at the signing. “This agreement marks an important milestone in EU-Kosovo relations. It will help Kosovo implement much-needed reforms and create trade and investment opportunities. It will put Kosovo on a path to sustainable economic growth and can create jobs that citizens, especially young people, urgently need,” Hahn added. The SAA was negotiated between October 2013 and May 2014, initialled in July 2014 and the Council of the EU approved its signature on 22 October 2015. After approval by the European Parliament, the SAA is expected to enter into force in the first half of next year. Once in force, the SAA will establish a contractual relationship that will include reciprocal rights and obligations and cover a wide range of sectors.
The SAA focuses on respecting democratic principles and key elements that are at the heart of the EU`s internal market. The SAA will create an area for free trade and the application of European standards in other areas such as competition, state aid and intellectual property. It will also contribute to the implementation of reforms aimed at achieving the adoption of European standards by Kosovo. Other provisions concern political dialogue, cooperation in a wide range of areas ranging from education and employment within and finance, to energy, the environment and justice. The SAC shall be assisted in the performance of its duties by a Stabilisation and Association Committee. . . .