Wednesday, April 20, 2005

European Commission supports Kosovo's European prospects

ZAGREB, April 20 (Hina) - The European Commission on Wednesday adopted a document underlining its wish to support Kosovo's European prospects and pledging that Kosovo will be high on the Commission's agenda in the coming months.

Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the economic problems in Kosovo could not wait until a solution was found for the UN-administered province. He added Kosovo's economic development must be strengthened to guarantee a better future for all residents of the province.

Rehn said the European Commission's goal was to build a genuine multiethnic society in which citizens felt safe and were treated in one way.

He said the Commission was willing to help Kosovo in its European aspirations provided that its political leaders showed unequivocal commitment to democratic principles, rule of law, protection of human rights and minorities, a market economy, and values on which the European Union was founded.

The document adopted today shows what the European Commission is doing and intends to do to help Kosovo, and tells interim institutions and the people of Kosovo that achieving standards for a safe, stable and multiethnic society is a long term commitment which is above the settlement of Kosovo's status and comes before progress towards the EU.

The EU General Affairs Council's conclusions of February 21-22 call on the high representative for the common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, and the European Commission to consider, in close cooperation with the EU presidency, ways in which the Union can help Kosovo.

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