Brussels asks Kosovo for swifter reforms to join EU

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Brussels asks Kosovo for swifter reforms to join EU

Brussels asks Kosovo for swifter reforms to join EU
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EU leaders say Kosovo is on the right track to join the 27-member bloc, but that more work needs to be done on democratic reform.

Speaking in Brussels, Herman Van Rompuy said Kosovo must honour all agreements struck with its neighbour Serbia, from whom it declared independence four years ago.

Among them are deals on the joint management of border crossings, and the granting of sufficient autonomy to Kosovo’s Serbian minority.

“The EU expects Kosovo to step up its efforts on the European reform agenda, in particular as concerns the rule of law, public administration reform, electoral reform and outreach to minority communities,” Van Rompuy told reporters on Wednesday.

But Pristina’s independence is not recognised by five member states: Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

During a two-day visit to Brussels, Kosovo’s president urged them to join the rest of the EU in backing their membership bid.

“I encourage these countries to follow the example of the majority of the EU member countries adhering to dedication for the concrete European prospectives for the Western Balkans,” said Atifete Jahjaga.

Serbia needs to improve ties with Kosovo if it is to succeed in its own bid to join the European Union.

Serbia, however, still does not recognise Kosovo’s independence.