The commission is generally satisfied with Kosovo's legal system progress, but that the country needs to do more with its implementation.
By Safet Kabashaj for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 20/3/13
Kosovo institutions aim to fulfill commission requirements. [AFP]
Kosovo authorities are accelerating efforts to meet European Commission requirements as the country hopes to receive a stabilisation and association agreement in early summer.
Vlora Citaku, Kosovo minister for European integration, said the commission's recent assessment of Kosovo's EU progress, as well as the areas where the country failed to achieve progress, is fair.
"As in any other transitioning country with a low economic development, the challenges are similar … illegal migration, organised crime and corruption, the process of visa liberalisation," Citaku told SETimes.
To support reforms, the commission established a structured dialogue on the rule of law process to aid the country in the early stages of EU integration. However, Kosovo must address the reforms effectively and practically, the commission said.
"The fight against organised crime and corruption is at the centre of the EU integration process, and we know that reforms are difficult and will take a long time. The commission expects that Kosovo demonstrates a clear commitment to deliver concrete results," Stojan Pelko, spokesperson at the EU Pristina office, told SETimes.
The commission's recent report, released last month, affirmed Kosovo's progress in the legal system, but said that more action is required for implementation.
"Substantial progress was made in the public administration reform, protection of minorities and the rule of law. Kosovo has committed itself to addressing the remaining priorities," Pelko said.
Compared to 51 criteria for other regional countries, the commission introduced 91 criteria for Kosovo.
One of the EU requirements is that Kosovo adopts the law on personal names to enable Serbs to register in the Cyrillic alphabet. The measure will complicate the civil registry, with a high financial cost, officials said. To meet the demand, a new registry system will have to be adopted, and administrative, police and customs staff will need to be trained.
Kosovo membership in international organisations is also a problem, according to Citaku. A lost or stolen passport belonging to a Kosovo citizen cannot enter an Interpol database since the country is not a member of this organisation.