GLPS & GAP (under KOSID) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on Trepca Mining Complex

On 03 February 2014, Group for Legal and Political Studies and GAP Institute, within the framework of KOSID, hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the following topic: ‘Ownership Status of Trepça Mining Complex: The Path Ahead to Promote a New Investment Strategy for its Revitalizatv ion’. The Discussion opened with the presentation of a preliminary Policy Report entitled: “For a New Policy on Trepca’s Property Status: Its problems and the path ahead”. The Policy Report provides an overview of the Trepca Mining Complex, identifies its current challenges vis-a-vis legal status and management of its assets, as well as discusses its impact on the economic development of the Mitrovica region and Kosovo in general. In addition, the Report offers a list of policy recommendations that would help Kosovo institutions orient their policy and develop a sustainable revitalization strategy for Trepca. The panellists, on the other hand, supported the huge economic and strategic importance of Trepca and offered arguments on the orientation that Kosovo Government should take in revitalizing Trepca.

Panelists in Attendance:

Mr. Fisnik Korenica, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLSP);

Mr. Fadil Ismajli, Minister of Economic Development, Government of Kosovo;

Mr. Visar Ymeri, Member of the Parliamentary Committee for Economic Development, Infrastructure, Trade and Industry, Assembly of Kosovo, Levizja Vetevendosje;

 

 Moderated by:

Visar Azemi, KOSID

 

Venue:

ORION Conference Center, Prishtina,

Str.: ‘Rexhep Luci’ No. 2,

 

 

The Trade Impact of the Kosovo-EU Stabilization and Association Agreement: An assessment of outcomes and implications

The European Union fashioned the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) instrument exclusively for the Western Balkan countries in order to address their European perspective and potential. The process strongly ties the explicit offer of future membership with certain objectives and conditions that these countries have to reach. The agreement aims to anchor economic, political and administrative reforms in exchange for increased integration. More precisely, the agreement mainly seeks to boost economic cooperation by establishing a free trade zone as well as supporting the stabilization of the political, social and economic situations in the targeted country.Kosovo is one of the last Western Balkan countries not to sign an SAA agreement with the European Union. Until now, the EU has signed SAAs with Macedonia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each agreement identified common economic and political objectives, encouraged regional cooperation, and established a free trade area between EU and these countries to adapt to their specific situations. While the existing SAAs were tailored to individual countries, they, however, are very similar and share the same objectives. The SAA, which will cover several issues of mutual cooperation between Kosovo and EU, will benefit the former in many different aspects. It will be the first contractual agreement between EU and Kosovo; an agreement which requires commitment of both parties regarding the course of action detailed in the SAA. In addition, Kosovo will be able to liberalise trade with all EU member states, strengthen regional cooperation by aligning its political and economical preferences with other states, and implement its most suitable institutional framework to address the external competition. Finally, the agreement will open up new grant and funding opportunities for Kosovo.You can download this policy report by clicking here.

Germany’s Foreign Policy towards Kosovo – A policy perspective

Over the last decade and a half, Germany‘s role in Kosovo has transformed from one to create peace‖ into a state-building role intended to ensure democratization and development. In addition to the United States, Germany‘s efforts in Kosovo have been crucial for bringing a timely end to the crisis in Kosovo, for Kosovo‘s pre-independence capacity building, and for Kosovo‘s post-independence state-building. Germany‘s bilateral relations with Kosovo remain strong in regards to Germany‘s contribution to security and rule of law structures in Kosovo, aid and development cooperation, political support vis-à-vis status recognition and relations with Serbia and the EU, and role within international organizations, particularly KFOR, EULEX, and the EU, which aim to bring security, rule of law and development to Kosovo and ready Kosovo for European integration. Germany‘s role in Kosovo, in addition to shaping its strategic importance within NATO and the EU, has spotlighted Germany as a leading figure in Kosovo and in the western Balkans.You can download this policy report by clicking here.

GLPS held a press conference on the SAA between Kosovo & EU, and released a policy report on its trade impact

On 18 January 2013, Group for Legal and Political Studies held a Press Conference on Kosovo-EU Stabilization Association Agreement and released a report on its trade impact, entitled: ‘The Trade Impact of the Kosovo-EU Stabilization and Association Agreement: An assessment of outcomes and implications’. This policy contribution its crucial not only because of its relevance – the SAA negotiations between EU and Kosovo have already started – but also because it can guide both parties throughout the negotiation process regarding the trade related aspects. The policy report is divided into four sections to provide this guidance. Section II will look at trade relations between Kosovo and EU member states. Moreover, this section concentrates on the products most affecting Kosovo‘s imports and exports. Section III concentrates on existing SAAs and their possible reflection on Kosovo‘s SAA. It especially focuses on the SAA provisions regarding industrial and agricultural goods as well as anti-dumping, safeguards and SPS measures. Section IV concentrates on the impact that previous SAAs had on the regional trade and such scenarios possible impact on Kosovo‘s trade. Section V concludes the report and discusses policy implications based on general findings. These findings can be used as guidelines for negotiations between Kosovo and EU, especially for those on trade. Apart from highlighting the possible preferences in trade between EU and Kosovo, this section also provides solutions on how to improve the current trade situation by concentrating on the development and restructuring of the domestic production in face of the SAA impact. The policy report could be downloaded by clicking here.

GLPS hosted a panel discussion on Germany’s Foreign Policy towards Kosovo, and released a policy report on this issue

On 15 January 2014, Group for Legal and Political Studies and Prishtina Council on Foreign Relations hosted a Panel Discussion on: ‘Germany’s Foreign Policy towards Kosovo: What is Germany’s stance on EULEX, Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and Kosovo’s EU integration process’. The panelists analyzed the Germany’s position towards Kosovo before and after the independence of Kosovo, highlighting the current state of affairs in the context of EULEX mandate, Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue results and the EU integration of Kosovo. Undoubtedly, Germany’s foreign policy position towards Kosovo have had an enormous impact in the status settlement process, developments thereafter, as well as helped further the clarification of Kosovo’s European perspective within the enlargement policy of the European Union. The two organizations also released a Policy Report entitled: ‘Germany’s Foreign Policy towards Kosovo’. The report provides an analysis of the present-day German foreign policy towards Kosovo and shows not only where it has evolved from but also how it should be strategized into the future. The Policy Report could be downloaded by clicking here.

Panel Discussion: Germany’s Foreign Policy towards Kosovo: What is Germany’s stance on EULEX, Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and Kosovo’s EU integration process?

Panelists:

1.    H.E. Dr. Peter Blomeyer, German Ambassador to Kosovo;
2.    Ms. Engjellushe Morina, the Chair of the Prishtina Council on Foreign Relations;
3.    Mr. Petrit Selimi, Deputy Minister, Foreign Ministry, Republic of Kosova;

Chair of the panel: Mr. Fisnik Korenica, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Venue: EU Cultural and Information Center, Prishtina, Kosovo

GLPS hosted a panel discussion and released a policy note on the April Agreement, local elections and the North of Kosovo

On 11 December 2013, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘Quo Vadis? Northern Kosovo municipalities after local elections and the 19th April Kosovo-Serbia Agreement.’ The panel prompted discussion on the municipal elections in the north of Kosovo, their results, and the future of municipal leadership in the north in the context of the EU-facilitated agreement. In addition, the panel discussed and debated the orientation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo that was initiated via the April Agreement. Panelists offered differing perspectives on the somewhat ambiguous nature of the Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo, some viewing it as a political cooperative and government related entity and others viewing it more closely to an NGO. Panelists debated whether this new EU-prescribed Association would serve to integrate Kosovo institutions into the formerly illegal ‘parallel’ Belgrade-supported structures or whether this agreement could serve as a platform to integrate pre-existing northern structures into Kosovo’s political fold.

At the beginning of the discussion, a policy note entitled ‘Association of Serbian Municipalities: From a tool of integration, to a disaster in the making’ was presented by its author Agron Bajrami. This policy note analyses the impact of local elections in the northern Kosovo and Belgrade’s influence on municipal elections in the North of Kosovo. In particular, this policy note details the effects and possible risks that the April Agreement has had and may have on Kosovo’s ability to guarantee a representative leadership in northern municipalities as well as other Serb-majority municipalities. The report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Panel Discussion: “Quo Vadis? Northern Kosovo municipalities after local elections and the 19th April Kosovo-Serbia Agreement”

Panelists:

  1. Mr. BelulBeqaj, Professor of Political Science and Analyst of Kosovo Serbian Relations;
  2. Mr. AgronBajrami, Editor in Chief of KohaDitore Daily and Author of the Report;
  3. H.E. Robert Bosch, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Kosovo;
  4. Mr. FisnikKorenica, Group for Legal and Political Studies, Moderator.

Date: Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel in Prishtina, Kosovo