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Kosovo-European Union held the fifth SAA Sub-committee on Energy, Environment, Climate, Regional Development and Transport

Mar 17, 2021

Officials from Kosovo and the European Commission held discussions about developments over the past year in the areas of energy, environment, climate, transport and regional Development. The discussion was held in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) which entered into force in April 2016. The reform topics covered by this meeting are directly relevant for the Kosovo economy as well as the well-being of citizens. It was agreed that strategies, action plans and legislation should be assessed to ensure coherence with the principles and priorities of the EU priority Green Deal initiative and Green Agenda for the Western Balkans to ensure coherence between relevant documents in each sector.

As regards energy, the Commission welcomed the developments as regards the signing of the connection agreement between the transmission system operator of Kosovo (KOSTT) and the ENTSO-E, which entered into force in October 2020 and established KOSTT as a separate control area as of December 2020. The Commission awaits the launch of ALPEX and the market coupling of Kosovo and Albania. The Commission emphasises that the upcoming Energy Strategy will be a key instrument to have a comprehensive vision on the future of Kosovo’s moving towards decarbonization of energy production. The Commission also invited Kosovo to begin to take steps to increase the development of alternative energy sources and calls for further efforts to improve energy efficiency measures for private households. In particular, the Commission strongly encourage Kosovo to move away from current feed in tariff system for renewable energy towards a competitive, auction-based support schemes The Commission welcomed the progress in implementing legislation transposing the Third Energy Package and called for a number of pending oil-related laws and other reforms to be approved as soon as possible.

As regards climate action, Commission expressed concern about developments regarding climate action, stressing the need to adopt the necessary legislative framework and strategic documents to align its commitment to the Green Agenda for Western Balkans. The Commission also emphasised the importance of implementation and strengthening of administrative capacities. 

On environment, the Commission also expressed concern about limited developments. The importance of national administrative capacity for implementation and enforcement of legislation was discussed. Other developments regarding air quality, waste and water management, nature protection, forestry, noise, chemicals, and civil protection were also discussed. 

On transport, the Commission welcomed Kosovo’s proactive participation in the Transport Community. 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, to contribute to economic development. Both sides agreed on the need to continue reforms, including strengthening the independence and capacities of regulatory institutions in the transport sector. The Commission called for concrete and urgent measures to improve road safety, in the interest of citizens. In particular, the Commission strongly encouraged Kosovo to adopt a new road safety strategy for the decade 2021-2030. The Commission called on Kosovo to complete the transposition of the remaining items from the first phase of the European Civil Aviation Agreement.

Finally, on regional development, the Commission welcomed the adoption of the strategy on Regional Development and stressed the importance of increasing capacities and implementing policies on the sector.

Background information

  • 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, 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.