Press release

UK welcomes EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement

The Minister for Europe, David Lidington, calls it “a big step forward”

The European Union’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the Republic of Kosovo has entered into force – following its signing on 27 October 2015.

Minister for Europe David Lidington said:

I congratulate Kosovo on the entry into force of its Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union. This is the reward for much hard work, both in Pristina and in Brussels.

The SAA is Kosovo’s first contractual relationship with the EU, and represents a big step forward in Kosovo’s progress along its European path. The SAA will help strengthen stability and prosperity in Kosovo and in the wider region, bringing increased EU engagement in Kosovo.

I encourage Kosovo to seize the opportunities this agreement offers to move closer to Europe by continuing to engage constructively in the region and making genuine progress on the important reform challenges that lie ahead, in particular on the rule of law and on tackling corruption. Progress on reforms will help promote sustainable economic development in Kosovo, and help attract much-needed investment, thereby improving the lives of all Kosovo’s people. The UK remains a strong partner of Kosovo, and a strong supporter of its EU perspective.

Notes to editors

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) was negotiated between October 2013 and May 2014. It was initialled in July 2014, and was signed on 27 October 2015. The entry into force of the SAA follows consent by the European Parliament. The SAA is a significant new milestone in Kosovo’s relationship with the EU. It covers mutual rights and obligations across a variety of sectors, and will help implementation of reforms designed to achieve adoption of European standards. The agreement’s other provisions include political dialogue and co-operation in a range of sectors, such as employment and education. The agreement will help Kosovo deliver much-needed reform and will create trade and investment opportunities and opportunities for economic growth.

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