One year after the entry into force of the SAA: Are we getting closer to the integration in the EU?

On 27 February 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “One year after the entry into force of the SAA: Are we getting closer to the integration in the EU?”, held in Prishtina.  The aim of this event was to discuss the progress in implementing the objectives deriving from the National Programme for Implementation of SAA (NIPSAA), highlight challenges identified, and discuss the role of key institutions responsible to implement the reforms stemming from the SAA, in the short term.  At the beginning of the event, GLPS presented some findings resulting from the monitoring of NIPSAA, conducted by GLPS in a one-year period. In addition, results of the monitoring process suggest lack of proactive coordination between institutions, capacities in drafting adequate laws and strategies in compliance with the EU Acquis, proper budget planning and, amongst others, lack of political will in achieving the objectives deriving from NIPSAA. During the debate, panelists reiterated the importance of the SAA as the first contractual agreement between Kosovo and the EU, and highlighted the need for an enhanced coordination among key institutions responsible to implement the measures envisaged in the NIPSAA.  At the end, concrete recommendations in relation to the role that the entire political and institutional spectrum, civil society and media should play, to ease its implementation and help increase the accountability of public institutions in this process.

Panelists:

  1. H.E. Ms. Angelika Viets – Ambassador, German Embassy in Kosovo;
  2. Ms. Mimoza Ahmetaj – Minister, Ministry of European Integration;
  3. Ms. Njomza Emini – Head of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration;
  4. Ms. Donika Kadaj Bujupi -Member, Parliamentary Committee on Stabilization and Association;
  5. Ms. Albana Merja – Presenter of the findings, Group for Legal and Political Studies

 

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel (Mother Theresa Square,  10000 Prishtina, Kosovo)

Third Informational Conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement held in Peja

On 23 February 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) organized the third informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the Municipality of Peja. Gathering more than 20 participants from Peja region, municipal officials and civil society had the chance to discuss the objectives, benefits and obligations deriving from this Agreement, with a special focus on the obligations, policy planning, monitoring and reporting on the municipal level. In addition, participants agreed that the SAA is of utmost importance for Kosovo and its citizens contributing to the path towards the European Integration.  This is the third informational conference held under the framework of project entitled “Promoting the Stabilization Association Agreement and launching a public-discourse for Kosovo’s European Future”, financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.

Panelists:

  1. Ms. Leonora Kryeziu – Executive Director, PIPS;
  2. Mr. Gazmend Muhaxheri – Mayor of Peja Municipality;
  3. Ms. Venera Ramaj – Rule of Law Advisor, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kosovo;
  4. Ms. Katerina Lopo – Policy Officer, EU Office in Kosovo/ EU Special Representative;
  5. Ms. Albana Merja – Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies;
  6. Mr. Ilir Mucaj – Head of Division, Environment, Energy and Transport, Ministry of European Integration.

Venue: Hotel Dukagjini, Peja, Kosovo.

Second informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement

On 31 January 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) organized an informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the Municipality of Prizren. The aim of this event was to inform the participants and municipal officials on the importance of the SAA and the need for a constructive cooperation among central and local level towards successfully achieving its objectives.  Gathering more than 20 participants from Prizren region, municipal officials and civil society had the chance to discuss the objectives, benefits and obligations deriving from this Agreement, with a special focus on the obligations, policy planning, monitoring and reporting on the municipal level. In addition, participants agreed that the SAA is of utmost importance for Kosovo and its citizens contributing to the path towards the European Integration. Therefore, both GLPS and PIPS found it crucial to help build capacities and general knowledge about the SAA, with a special focus on the municipal level. This conference was implemented in the framework of project entitled “Promoting the Stabilization Association Agreement and launching a public-discourse for Kosovo’s European Future”, financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.

Venue: Hotel Theranda, Prizren, Kosovo.

Seminar for the Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo on SIGMA Principles of Public Administration

On 26 January 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) has organized one-day seminar for the Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo on the SIGMA Principles of Public Administration. This Seminar was co-organized with SIGMA/OECD and the aim was to familiarize the civil society in Kosovo with SIGMA Principles of Public Administration, both in local and central level. Gathering more than 30 CSOs throughout Kosovo, this event served as an opportunity to thoroughly discuss each of the Principles defined by the European Commission, indicators and sub-indicators, as well as their relevance to the local level. Furthermore, CSOs had the chance to receive first-hand information with regards to SIGMA’s approach towards Public Administration Reform (PAR) process from the SIGMA Representative and Coordinator for Kosovo, Mr. Jesper Johnson, who was engaged as a lecturer during this seminar. During the morning sessions, the participants discussed about the areas of PAR Strategic Framework and Policy Development and Coordination, while in the afternoon sessions the discussion focused on the remaining Chapters of Public Service and Human Resource Management, Accountability, Service Delivery and Public Finance Management. Each session was followed by an interactive discussion on several principles relevant to local level. Apart from the Principles, participants focused on the overall process of Public Administration Reform in Kosovo, challenges, latest SIGMA Assessment Report for Kosovo and civil society’s role towards the monitoring of PAR. Several multi-media videos were presented in the beginning of each session, briefly explaining each of the Chapters. This Seminar was organized under the project entitled “WeBER – Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform”, financed by the European Union, and co-financed by the Royal Netherlands Government.

Venue: Hotel Emerald, Prishtina, Kosovo.

Roundtable Discussion on the progress of the implementation of the Laws on Kosovo Judicial Council and Kosovo Prosecutorial Council

On December 27, 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and the Committee on Legislation, Mandates, Immunities and Oversight of the Anti-Corruption Agency have organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “The progress of the implementation of the Law on Kosovo Judicial Council and the Law on Kosovo Prosecutorial Council”, in Prishtina. This Roundtable was attended by members of the Committee on Legislation, Presidents of the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) and Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), Anti-Corruption Agency representatives and Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo. Participants had the chance to discuss the recently drafted report by the Committee on Legislation with regards to the implementation of the Law no. 03/ L-233 on Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) amended by the Law no. 05/L-233, and the Law no. 03/L-224 on Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC) amended by the Law no. 05/L-035. In addition, representatives from KJC and KPC have greeted the above-mentioned initiative of the Committee on Legislation, considering it very important to further enhance their collaboration with the Assembly. Bearing in mind the importance of the above-mentioned laws, as part of a crucial legislation package for the Kosovo’s justice system, on 20th September 2016, the Committee on Legislation established a Working Group to monitor the implementation of these two crucial laws. As part of this Working Group, GLPS has prepared a short report which thoroughly analyses the compliance of the secondary legislation on KJC and KPC with the current legislation on the justice system in Kosovo. Moreover, inputs, opinions, and recommendations gathered during the event will be incorporated in the final report drafted by the Committee on Legislation which in turn will be presented during a Plenary Session in the Assembly of Kosovo.

*This Project is financed from the Project/program promotion of the Democratic Society (DSP) financed by the Swiss Office for Cooperation in Kosovo (SCO-K) managed by the Kosovo Foundation for the Civil Society (KCSF). *

Venue: Orion Conference Centre, Prishtina, Kosovo.

Race for Employment in the Public Sector? What lies behind it?

On 14 December 2016, Group for Legal and Political Studies organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Race for Employment in the Public Sector? What lies behind it?”, at Hotel Swiss Diamond. The aim of this event was to discuss wage determination in public and private sector in Kosovo and Albania. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a Policy Report entitled: “The Race for Public Sector Employment in Kosovo and Albania: What lies behind it?” This Report is an empirical study which analyzes the wage gap in public and private sector in Kosovo and Albania. Moreover, it assesses whether the higher wages in public sector are attributable to the differences in the individual’s characteristics or differences in the remuneration endowments or wage discrimination.  Panelists agreed that the public sector in Kosovo and Albania accounts for a considerable share of total employment and as such could largely influence the labour market, more precisely the wage setting and other employment practices. Furthermore, they discussed the fact that if the government offers a higher remuneration to its employees compared to the private sector, the former may absorb the highly skilled workers. Among others, the panel discussed about the factors that could attract highly skilled individuals towards public sector, the effect it could have in quality of services offered by both sectors and potential implications that this could have both on domestic and foreign investments. To access the Policy Report, please click here.

Panelists:

  1. Mr. Haxhi Arifi – Head of the Union of Independent Trade Unions in Kosovo;
  2. Ms. Esmeralda Shehaj – Associated Professor at the University of Tirana;
  3. Ms. Nora Latifi Jashari – Executive Director at Institute GAP;
  4. Mr. Burim Ejupi – Executive Director at INDEP;
  5. Ms. Arbëresha Loxha – Research Fellow at Group for Legal and Political Studies.

 

Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, Prishtina.