EMERGING MARKETS DIRECT

EU-Kosovo association negotiations to start in autumn 2013 - enlargement commissioner

July 19, 2013, 5:45am GMT

Kosovo's association negotiations with the European Union will start in the autumn of this year, EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele said in a statement on Thursday, July 18. 

Fuele, whose statement was issued after his meeting with Kosovo's PM Hashim Thaci in Pristina, said that Kosovo may wrap up the process of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the spring of 2014.

The commissioner noted that the EU's decision to open SAA negotiations with Kosovo is a well-deserved award for the great work the country has done in normalising its relations with Serbia and in meeting the priorities of the union's feasibility study.

The European Council gave a green light to the EU-Kosovo SAA talks at the end of June. The SAA is the first formal step toward full union membership. It identifies the political, economic, trade and human rights commitments that need to be fulfilled by the country, which has expressed a wish to join the EU.

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