The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, who attended the second day of the 25th roundtable organized by The Economist in cooperation with the Greek Government, said that the 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: Improving Cooperation 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 recognize the Republic of Kosovo and also 26 out of 30 NATO member states, said Prime Minister Kurti.
Also on the panel were the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Northern 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 Affairs Social, Anna Diamantopoulou and Greek Parliament Member & former Greek Foreign Minister 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 pandemic management, and within 100 days of the current government, the number of active cases dropped from 13,000 to 170, while hospitalized cases dropped from 750 at 25. Within the first 66 days of government, 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 provided. The Prime Minister stressed that Kosovo is the only country in the region that has not received 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 pandemic management, ongoing justice reforms, 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 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 practiced on the ground. We want to continue with the verification process, which will make our prosecution more active and our judiciary more efficient, said Prime Minister Kurti.
Prime Minister Kurti also spoke about regional co-operation and economic integration of the Western Balkans. Kosovo has already proposed a new framework of co-operation, called SEFTA (South East European Free Trade Agreement), which would include all Western Balkan countries as equal members and as such would be based on a relationship special with the European Union, according to the EFTA-EEA model./ibna