Serbia’s breakaway province of intends to apply by year’s end, seeking candidacy perks
Kosovo will submit an official application for EU membership by the end of 2022, in order to gain access to the benefits of candidate status, the breakaway province’s foreign minister told local media on Wednesday.
“We said we would apply this year, and we will apply this year,” Donika Gervalla-Schwarz told KlanKosova TV. “We also notified our international partners that our goal is to apply this year, because we want to enjoy EU candidate status.”
Gervalla-Schwarz pointed out that over 90% of Kosovo’s residents favor membership in the EU and NATO, and support both as the “only path to a European future,”This, she stated, makes the accession request “only natural.”
Kosovo is “a leader of democracy in our region,”GervallaSchwarz added that “there is no reason for Kosovo to be treated differently from other regional countries, which are nowhere near as democratic.”
After a 78 day war by ethnic Albanian separatists against Yugoslavia, NATO took over Kosovo in 1999. Although the US supported provisional government declared independence in 2008, it has never been recognised by Serbia nor UN. Kosovo has not been recognized by five EU countries.
Aleksandar Vucic (Serbian President) told Tuesday’s parliament that Belgrade is being pressured by the EU to recognise Kosovo, although he has no plans to do that during his term.
Meanwhile, Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti traveled to neighboring Albania for an unscheduled visit, reportedly to discuss economic and energy issues with Albanian PM Edi Rama. Kurti’s party has openly advocated the unification of Kosovo and Albania.
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