”We greatly appreciate that Rame Manaj attended our Working Group, it only proves how active the EPP Group is in the region of South East Europe. In this context let me mention that the EPP Group will organise a high-profile conference on South East Europe in November. Today’s visit and exchange of views with Mr Manaj was not only an update on the situation of Kosovo at the international level, but we also discussed in detail the actions of the Kosovo Government regarding minority rights and the protection of the culture, language and identity of ethnic minorities. We follow this development closely. It is certain that stability in Kosovo will lead to the stability of the Balkans in the larger context”, said Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Vice-President of the EPP Group in charge of the Working Group.
Mr Rame Manaj, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo and Secretary General of EPP sister party LDK attended the latest meeting of the EPP Working Group on the Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy and EURONEST. He informed EPP Group Members about recent developments in Kosovo and his Government’s policy regarding the protection of minority rights. Members Bernd Posselt, Doris Pack, Arnaud Danjean, Alojz Peterle, Marian-Jean Marinescu, and György Schöpflin, took the floor and discussed the future engagement of the EU in this country.
The members commended the progress made by Kosovo in protecting minority rights. They highlighted clear examples of Kosovo’s achievements, such as the active engagement of much of the Serbian minority in civic and administrative life. There was optimism on both sides regarding the recent agreement between Serbia and the EU on a new resolution on Kosovo to be submitted by Serbia to the United Nations. Mr Rame Manaj said that the recognition of Kosovo’s independence by all EU Member States is of crucial importance, as it will allow, among other things, for his country to fully engage in a process of regional cooperation. Regional development is a priority for Kosovo, as a way of ensuring that the entire region can work towards European integration and that no one is left behind. Mr Rame Manaj thanked the participants for their encouragement and assured them that Kosovo is committed to upholding European values and to pursuing the goal of European integration for the entire region.
Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Tel.: +3222845822
Marek Hannibal, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel.: +3222841659