The President of the European Council held a meeting with Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of Kosovo* on 25 June 2020.
President Michel stressed the EU’s strong renewed focus on the Western Balkans, which was evidenced also by the 6 May Zagreb Summit; the summit reconfirmed the EU’s unequivocal support for the European perspective of the region.
As the credibility of this commitment also depends on the implementation of necessary reforms, the two leaders also discussed Kosovo’s reform path, with a special focus on the full implementation of the rule of law.
The discussion on the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina was at the heart of the meeting.
Charles Michel: “I welcome that the Prime Minister’s first foreign visit was to Brussels. During our meeting I stressed the urgent need for progress in the Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The recent appointment of ambassador Miroslav Lajčák as the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue illustrates the EU’s focus on this dialogue, whose resumption is now planned for July 2020 in Brussels.”
The leaders also discussed the fall out of the Covid-19 pandemic; President Michel highlighted the Coronavirus assistance package to Kosovo, which includes EUR 100 million macro-financial assistance to Kosovo in the form of loans and 68 million in assistance for health needs and social and economic response.
With regard to an indictment that has reportedly been filed against President Hashim Thaci, the EU does not comment on proceedings of the Specialist Prosecutor office and the Specialist Chambers.
Charles Michel: “It is important that the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are able to continue to do their work independently, without any outside interference.”
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.