Eu-Kosovo Free Trade Agreement

Trade plays an important role in the EU`s efforts to promote peace, stability, freedom and economic prosperity in the Western Balkans. In order to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this agreement, Kosovo can benefit from EU financial assistance in the form of grants and loans, including loans from the European Investment Bank. One study showed that eu trade agreements implemented during the 1993-2013 period “reduced quality-adjusted prices by almost 7%.” [83] In order to develop regional trade and provide new opportunities for economic operators, a system of diagonal accumulation of origin has been set up between the European Union, with the Western Balkan countries participating in the stabilisation and association process and Turkey. This system allows a participating partner to use, under advantageous conditions, materials from other partners in the area in the manufacture of finished products exported to the European Union, the Western Balkans or Turkey. All parties to the original agreement had now joined the EU, leaving the FTACE. It was therefore decided to extend the FTACE to other Balkan countries that had already concluded a matrix of bilateral free trade agreements under the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. On 6 April 2006, at the Summit of The Prime Ministers of South-Eastern Europe in Bucharest, a joint declaration on the extension of CEFTA to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro and UNMIK (on behalf of Kosovo) was adopted. [3] Ukraine`s accession was also discussed. [4] The new expanded agreement was signed in Brussels on 9 November 2006 and signed on 19 December 2006 at the Summit of The Prime Ministers of South-Eastern Europe in Bucharest. [5] The agreement came into force on 26 July 2007 for Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia, 22 August for Croatia, 24 October for Serbia and 22 November 2007 for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the agreement was to create a free trade area in the region by 31 December 2010.

The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is an international trade agreement between countries mainly based in South-Eastern Europe. Founded by representatives of Poland, from Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the CTA HAS extended to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and the Minuk (on behalf of Kosovo, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244). The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, as EU member states have granted “exclusive jurisdiction” to conclude trade agreements. Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States control every step of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are the national ministers of each national government). The agreement does not constitute an independent recognition of Kosovo by the EU or by some EU countries. In 2000, the EU granted autonomous trade preferences to all Western Balkan countries. This preference, which expires at the end of 2020, allows almost all exports to enter the EU without tariffs or quantitative restrictions. Only sugar, wine, baby meat and some fishing products enter the EU under preferential tariff quotas.

A Commission proposal to extend autonomous trade preferences until the end of 2025 is currently being considered by the European Parliament and the Council. Following Kosovo`s declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, UNMIK continued to represent Kosovo at all CEFTA meetings.