On 27 October in Strasbourg, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn signed, on behalf of the EU, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo. This follows the negotiations finalized in May 2014 and the final go from the Council on 22 October. Once the European Parliament approves the agreement, it will come into force. The deal is a huge step for Kosovo, being the first big agreement with the EU covering many areas. In the past, association agreements were regarded as the first real step towards full EU membership – even though there is no automaticity. For now, EU and Kosovo will form a free trade area, EU standards will begin to be implemented in Kosovo and political dialogue will continue to foster much needed reforms. The stabilisation element is also very important – Kosovo is a young state, not even entirely recognized by EU member states and has been in internal political turmoil for years. Parliamentary sessions have repeatedly seen tear gas attacks from the opposition. The EU and Kosovar government hope that the clear demonstration of European future for Kosovo, which the now signed agreement no doubt is, will calm the situation.
26th February 2018
9th March 2018