EC Head Barroso to visit Kosovo on Friday

Barosso-2PRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar media the President of the European Commission, the Portuguese Jose Manuel Barroso, intends to pay a visit to Kosovo on Friday (the 20th. May). Reportedly Barroso will have meetings with the Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. In addition the EC president is said to visit the mainly Serb populated Kosovar municipality of Gracanica in order to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the municipality’s assembly building.

Prior to Kosovo, Barroso will visit Serbia as part of his Balkans tour. In both countries Barroso is expected to address the ongoing European Union (EU) mediated Kosovo-Serbia talks in Brussels as well as war crime issues and the cooperation with the war crimes Tribunal in Den Hague (ICTY). Important EU related topics for Kosovo are currently the process of visa liberalization, the inclusion to EU free trade arrangements and the activities of the EU rule-of-law mission (EULEX) in northern Kosovo.

In order to lobby for improvements particularly in terms of visa liberalization and free trade agreements, the Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Mimoza Kursari-Lila, as well as Kosovo’s Minister for internal affairs, Bajram Rexhepi, recently visited the EU headquarter in Brussels.

The Republic of Kosovo is the only country in the Balkans, which is excluded from according agreements with the EU due to its pending status as an independent state.

Although Kosovo is a formal member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA – the Republic of Serbia in addition blockades Kosovo’s export activities, by harming CEFTA regulations.

Barroso’s visit is considered as an important improvement regarding Kosovo’s relations to the European Union: A few weeks ago Kosovo media reported, high EU officials would refuse visiting Kosovo due to the bad image of its leading government representatives.

KON / NK

 

This article was first published on Technorati – Politics

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