Support for the European integration process

Project description

Title: Support for the European integration process
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kosovo
Lead executing agency: Ministry of European Integration (MEI)
Overall term: 2011 to 2017

Context

Accession to the European Union (EU) is a declared objective of the Government of Kosovo. Since April 2016, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU has been in effect.

In order to facilitate cooperation on implementing the European reform agenda between the Kosovar Ministry of European Integration (MEI), created in 2010, and the sectoral ministries, the Government of Kosovo established Departments for European Integration and Policy Coordination (DEIPCs) in 2013. However, the DEIPCs are not yet adequately involved in the EU integration process.

Offices serving as local contact points for the EU integration process were also set up in every municipality in the country. Additionally, the Assembly of Kosovo established the Committee for European Integration in 2008. A Joint Parliamentary Committee comprising Kosovar and European parliamentarians was also established when the Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force.

Despite substantial progress, Kosovo’s institutions are not yet sufficiently able to perform the tasks entailed in legislative alignment and the adoption and application of EU standards. In order to ensure the sustainable steering and monitoring of the EU integration process, coordination and cooperation within and among the sectoral ministries and the Ministry of European Integration have to be improved.

Objective

The Ministry of European Integration is capable of planning and steering the EU pre-accession process, particularly with regard to the effective implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. To this end, it coordinates with the key sectoral ministries and also involves other relevant stakeholders in the EU integration process, such as the Assembly of Kosovo and civil society actors.

Approach

GIZ supports the Kosovar Government, above all the Ministry of European Integration, in coordinating, steering and monitoring the EU approximation process, particularly with respect to the effective implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. This includes aligning Kosovo’s legal system with existing EU laws and carrying out the necessary reform of the relevant institutions.

GIZ provides the Ministry of European Integration with process and organisational consultancy along with support for the development of technical expertise. Furthermore, the project encourages the involvement of parliamentary and civil society actors, thereby promoting the participatory nature of the EU pre-accession process in Kosovo.

The activities focus on four areas:

  1. Strengthening strategic planning capacities for the European integration process
  2. Improving the coordination and cooperation capacities of the Ministry of European Integration
  3. Providing support for core processes related to EU integration, particularly in harmonising national laws with EU law (acquis communautaire)
  4. Enhancing participation of state and non-state actors as well as cooperating with the Kosovar Assembly’s Committee for European Integration in order to improve its supervisory and control function.

Results

Through intensive process and organisational development consultancy, GIZ has contributed to setting up and consolidating key coordination structures and processes in Kosovo for steering EU approximation. GIZ has also helped to train and empower relevant actors in their EU integration tasks.

The National Programme for the Implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (NPISAA) was devised with the assistance of the project. Additionally, the project contributed towards achieving a broad national consensus on the objectives of European integration among representatives from the Government, the Assembly, municipalities, the donor community, academia, civil society and the private sector.

GIZ produced a training manual for the gradual adoption of the EU acquis communautaire into the legislative process in Kosovo. In cooperation with the Kosovo Institute for Public Administration (KIPA), personnel in the relevant line ministries has been trained. This has laid a fundamental basis for the alignment with EU law and policy.

Further information