President Vjosa Osmani announced on Tuesday that her country would submit an application for membership of the European Union by the end of the year, pledging commitment to Brussels-sponsored talks with Serbia to resolve outstanding differences.
“I will be announcing today here in front of all EU leaders: Kosovo will be submitting its application for EU membership by the end of this year,” Ms Osmani said upon arrival at an EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana.
Five Western Balkan states - Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia - are at different stages of an EU entry process. But Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, has yet to apply.
Serbia lost control of Kosovo in 1999 after 11 weeks of NATO air strikes to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in a Serbian counter-insurgency.
The normalisation of relations with Serbia and our planning on next steps featured prominently in my meeting with PM @albinkurti this morning in Pristina. We also used our meeting to discuss the situation in the north of Kosovo and energy. pic.twitter.com/6cmEUc6mRd— Miroslav Lajčák (@MiroslavLajcak) December 6, 2022
“I am absolutely convinced that the future of our children will be safer and more prosperous with the Western Balkans within the EU and we are working very hard to make progress,” EU Council chief Charles Michel said at the start of the meeting.
LIVE NOW - follow my doorstep ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana. https://t.co/wjSecJ4cjc— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) December 6, 2022