Kosovo formally applies for EU membership

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By Euronews
The Kosovar Prime Minister submits to the Czech minister for EU affairs the formal application to join the EU
The Kosovar Prime Minister submits to the Czech minister for EU affairs the formal application to join the EU   -   Copyright  Bundas Engler/AP

In a historic moment for the young Balkan nation, Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti has submitted an application to join the EU. Kosovo is the last country in the western Balkans to ask to join the bloc

However, this is the first step in a long journey ahead, one that will require reforms and economic alignment with the other 27 members of the union. It won’t be easy, which was acknowledged by Kurti.

"I’m repeating that we want no fast track, we want no back door to EU integration, and we want to join the EU as soon as possible,” he said. “I believe that with our dedication and willingness we are going to change the minds of eventual sceptics as well."

Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence in 2008, however, five EU member states still don't acknowledge it. While not a member, Serbia’s opposition is also a significant stumbling block.

Belgrade has never accepted Kosovo’s independence, arguing that it remains a Serbian province and has no right to declare itself a sovereign state.

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