Association Agreement Kosovo
A stabilization monitoring mechanism set up on 6 November 2002 for Kosovo is an association process specially designed to promote political dialogue between the EU and the Kosovo authorities on issues of EU rapprochement, as its controversial status has not allowed it to begin the stabilisation and association process. In addition, a new sectoral meeting structure was established in March 2007 under the aegis of the STM in the areas of good governance, the economy, the internal market, innovation and infrastructure.  A Stabilization and Association Agreement (ASA) between the European Union and Kosovo was signed today in Strasbourg. For the EU, it was signed by Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, while on the Kosovo side it was signed by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and the Minister for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Bekim Ollaku. “This agreement opens a new phase in EU-Kosovo relations. It is an important contribution to stability and prosperity in Kosovo and the region as a whole. I look forward to its entry into force,” High Representative Mogherini said at the signing. “This agreement is an important step in EU-Kosovo relations. It will help Kosovo implement much-needed reforms and create trade and investment opportunities.
It will put Kosovo on the path to sustainable economic growth and create much-needed jobs for its citizens, especially young people,” added Commissioner Hahn. The ASA was negotiated between October 2013 and May 2014, signed in July 2014, and the EU Council approved its signature on 22 October 2015. After approval by the European Parliament, the ASA is expected to enter into force in the first half of next year. Once in force, the ASA will establish a contractual relationship that will involve reciprocal rights and obligations and cover a wide range of sectors. The ASA focuses on respecting the main democratic principles and essential elements that are at the heart of the EU`s internal market. The ASA will create a space for free trade and the application of European standards in other areas such as competition, state aid and intellectual property. It will also contribute to the implementation of reforms aimed at the adoption of European standards by Kosovo. Other provisions concern political dialogue, cooperation in a wide range of areas ranging from education and employment to energy, the environment, justice and home affairs.
Before applying for full EU membership, Kosovo wanted to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (ASA) with the EU which, according to the European Parliament, “defines the rights and obligations of both sides until EU membership”.  In March 2012, the European Commission commissioned a feasibility study on the prospects of an ASA with Kosovo.   The results were published on October 10, 2012. He noted that there were no legal obstacles, as such an agreement did not require full sovereignty, and recommended that negotiations be undertaken as soon as Kosovo made further progress in the four areas of the rule of law, public administration, minority protection and trade.  Kosovo is the only potential candidate country in the Balkans that does not have visa-free access to the Schengen area.  On 19 January 2012, the EU and Kosovo began a dialogue on visa liberalisation.  On 14 June 2012, Kosovo received a roadmap for visa liberalisation with the EU, which listed the necessary reforms.   The European Commission formally proposed visa-free travel to Kosovo in May 2016.  The European Union has established that the authorisation of visa exemption for Kosovar citizens in the Schengen area is conditional on Kosovo`s approval of a border delimitation agreement with Montenegro.  The border agreement was approved by the Kosovo parliament in March 2018.  In