Kosovo Primer Minister Albin Kurti who attended the second day of the 25th addition of the rounbdtable organized by The Economist in cooperation with the Greek Government said that recognition of Kosovo, cooperation in the region and EU membership is the right way forward for long-term peace, stability, and security.
In the discussion panel on “Southeast Europe: Enhancing Co-operation and Solidarity”, Prime Minister Kurti reiterated the request for Greece to join the countries that have recognized Kosovo. Let us not forget that 22 out of 27 EU member states do recognize the Republic of Kosovo and likewise 26 out of 30 NATO member states, said Prime Minister Kurti.
In the panel were also Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, the former President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the President of the “Diktio” Network for Reform in Greece & the former European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou, and Member of the Hellenic Parliament & former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, George Katrougkalos.
During his speech, Prime Minister Kurti spoke about the successful management of the pandemic during the two governments led by him. In the Kurti 1 Government, Kosovo was rated as one of the countries with the most successful management of the pandemic, and within 100 days of the current government, the number of active cases has dropped from 13 thousand to 170, while hospitalized cases have dropped from 750 to 25. Within the first 66 days of governance, an agreement was reached with Pfizer to purchase 1.2 million vaccines, and within 100 days a total of over 2 million doses of vaccines were secured. The Prime Minister pointed out that Kosovo is the only country in the region that has not accepted vaccines from Russia or China. He added that this good management, in both cases, in addition to appropriate measures, is the merit of cooperation and positive response of citizens to the calls of state institutions.
In addition to good management of the pandemic, the reforms launched in justice, the fight against crime and the preservation of public money have had a positive impact on increasing citizens’ trust in institutions. He added that this has also affected the economic indicators, which show that in the first five months of the year, economic activity has increased by 15%, budget revenues by 30% and exports by 66%, while economic growth for this year is projected to be 7.9%.
The new culture we have brought with good governance, where corruption will not be tolerated, is already being exercised practically on the ground. We want to continue with the vetting process, which is going to render our prosecution more active and our judiciary more efficient, said Prime Minister Kurti.
Prime Minister Kurti also spoke about regional cooperation and economic integration of the Western Balkans. Kosovo has already proposed a new framework of cooperation, called SEFTA (Southeast European Free Trade Agreement), which would include all the countries of the Western Balkans as equal members and as such would be based on a special relationship with the European Union, according to the EFTA-EEA model./ibna