Prishtina, 16.02.2019 – Minister of Economic Development Valdrin Lluka is attending the regional forum in Thessaloniki to discuss on greater regional cooperation and further development of countries of the region.
Minister Lluka was critical to Balkans countries for the lack of cooperation and shortfalls in common projects the implement with Kosovo, mostly in the sphere of infrastructure and failure to establish common markets which would strengthen political ties and improve the standard of living in all countries of the region. Head of MED expressed his dissatisfaction with Macedonia, which has yet to start working in the segment of the road connecting the border crossing with Skopje.
“Lack of readiness among neighboring countries to establish better connections with each-other hinders initiatives to establish a common economic zone and other commitments under the Berlin process. While Kosovo is finalizing its highway towards Skopje, the Macedonian party has yet to start working on the segment connecting the border with Skopje. We have received commitments that said works will start soon,” Lluka said.
He also addressed the problem Kosovo has with Serbia, with the latter hindering our process of integration in the European transmission network operators’ organization.
“On the other hand, Serbia continues to present an obstacle for Kosovo’s membership in the European transmission organization, which disallows our activation of the transmission with Albania, a necessary point for the common energy market and an important point for the entire region. Moreover, Serbia has not even engaged into discussions on the highway from Nish to the Kosovo border, while we’ve brought ours very close to its finalization”, said Minister Lluka. Also, Lluka said that countries of the of the Balkans have a deficient fiscal system, that is not generating investments and new employment possibilities, as a result of the failure to establish common markets and establishing greater ties between countries of the region.
He said that Kosovo is implementing all its commitments that will push forward the process of connecting Balkans region countries and explained in detail problems with advancing regional ties. In terms of road infrastructure Kosovo has invested in highways connecting Kosovo with Albania, we are integrating the highway towards Macedonia, and we have only 20km remaining in our highway towards Serbia. Minister Lluka emphasized that with the exception of Albania, no other country of the Balkans have shown serious sighs of enhancing regional cooperation. In terms of the railroad infrastructure, Lluka explained that Kosovo has inaugurated commencement of works in Corridor 10 which connects Serbia and Macedonia, through Kosovo. “If political problems don’t get on our way, the railroad will allow producers and businesses to transport products at very low costs,” Lluka added.
The greatest problem of Kosovo’s cooperation with Balkans countries is energy. Kosovo has developed a high voltage transmission line the usage of which is made impossible by Serbia, despite the agreement to allow its utilization. Minister Lluka also cited problems of interconnectivity of countries of the region in terms of roaming and the implementation of the “Balkan Digital Highway” project.