Home Page
News 09 Apr 15

Croatia and Kosovo Sign Partnership Agreement

The Croatian and Kosovo foreign ministers met in Zagreb on Wednesday and signed a European partnership agreement, designed to help Kosovo reform its institutions.

Sven Milekic
Hashim Thaci (left) and Vesna Pusic (right) signing the European partnership agreement. Photo: Flickr

Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic hosted her Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, in Zagreb on Wednesday, when the two of them signed a European partnership agreement.

“We have signed a major European partnership agreement that formalizes the framework of our cooperation in the reform of the institutions of Kosovo, according to the European standards,” Pusic stated, adding that Croatia was already informally helping to do this through seminars held in Kosovo.

The Croatian minister characterized relations between the two states as good, but said that economic cooperation needed to improve.

“We believe our companies have the know-how and experience, primarily in infrastructural and information technology projects, such as the digitization of Radio and Television of Kosovo,” Pusic remarked.

She also announced an agreement on avoiding double taxation between the two countries, which will help companies do business.

Pusic mentioned that both ministers had discussed the status of the small Croat minority in Kosovo, and she greeted the recent improvement of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Thaci said the partnership agreement would help with the transfer of knowledge and experience from Croatia as Kosovo embarked on the process of trying to join the EU.

Kosovo would work on improving conditions for Croatian companies willing to invest in Kosovo, he said - and on improving conditions for ethnic Croats in the country.

“Kosovo is working to improve the rights of all minorities and we will soon make changes to the constitution, to put the Croatian minority into institutions, primarily in parliament and the executive,” he stated.

Croatia and Kosovo have long had cordial relations and Croatia was among the first countries to recognize Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008.

Exchanges of goods between two countries increased by 25 per cent over the last three years, and Croatian exports to Kosovo are rising.

However, Croatia exports much more to Kosovo than the other way around. It has a 67 million euro annual surplus in trade with Kosovo.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy, HGK, says 120 Croatian companies are currently operating in Kosovo.

Kosovo is home to an ancient but tiny ethnic Croat community concentrated in the village of Jenjevo, about 20 kilometres from Pristina, where about 300 Croats still live.

Some 70 others live in and around the village of Letnica in south-eastern Kosovo, on the border with Macedonia.

The number of Albanians in Croatia is much larger. According to 2011 census, 17,513 Albanians live in Croatia, mostly from Kosovo and Macedonia.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

26 Jun 17

Far-Right Croatian NGO to Honour Ustasa Commander

A marginal far-right NGO announced it will put up a plaque honouring Jure Francetic, the commander of a Croatian World War II fascist Ustasa unit responsible for large-scale crimes against Serbs and Jews.

26 Jun 17

The Balkans Today: 26th June - 30th June 2017

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results

25 Jun 17

LIVE: Albanian General Elections 2017

Premium Selection

26 Jun 17

Bosnia’s Ex-Refugees Use Language Skills in Call Centres

When German-speaking clients get through to a call centre, there is a good chance that the operator on the other end of the line is a Bosnian who found refuge in Germany during the 1992-5 war.

26 Jun 17

Serbia’s New PM Likely to Stay in Vucic’s Shadow

While Ana Brnabic awaits confirmation in parliament as Serbia’s new Prime Minister, experts say the real decisions will continue to be taken by her patron, President Aleksandar Vucic.

23 Jun 17

Albania Enjoys Calmest Ever Election Campaign

23 Jun 17

Romanian Top Filmmakers Fight for Reform

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results