Kosovo’s representation in CEFTA Agreement without UNMIK’s presence, depends on the willingness of the CEFTA member countries.
Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) members are expected to address this issue during the meeting which is expected to be held on 23 November, daily Koha Ditore reports.
Kosovo Ministry of Trade and Industry requested the EU to put pressure on UNMIK to withdraw from the CEFTA Agreement preamble as someone from the member countries may refuse to approve the amendment of the preamble.
Responding to this issue, the EU Office in Kosovo said that even though they support any agreement between the Western Balkans countries - including CEFTA Agreement - the solution to this issue should be found by the member states.
“Good neighbourly relations are also a precondition for any country aspiring EU accession and we consider that any disagreement between neighbours should be dealt by through dialogue. If there are any issues on CEFTA rules and their implementation, we encourage parties to address them through the CEFTA Secretariat," the EU Office in Kosovo told Koha Ditore.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Bajram Hasani, said that another possibility of representing Kosovo at this mechanism is if all CEFTA member states agree to treat Kosovo equally.
“Otherwise we will consider withdrawing from CEFTA,“ Hasani said.
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between non-EU countries, members of which are now mostly located in Southeastern Europe. Kosovo became a member of CEFTA in July 2007, eight months after the accession agreement was sealed off.
The accession agreement was signed by UNMIK on behalf of Kosovo. Nine years after the declaration of independence, Kosovo continues to be represented in CEFTA by UNMIK.