ISG: Kosovo has made substantial progress

Vienna, 27 February 2009 – The International Steering Group for Kosovo (ISG) says that Kosovo has achieved substantial progress in the establishment of judicial systems and protection of ethnic minorities in this more than one year’s time of independence.

At this occasion, political directors of Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors of approximately 30 countries reiterated the assurance that Kosovo’s independence offers peace for the region, and promised support for its security mechanism FSK.

Representatives of ISG told a press conference at the Austrian Foreign Ministry that Kosovo’s development after the independence is in line with EU principles.

Kosovo is definitely on the road towards European Union, said the head of the International Steering Group and the European Union’s representative on Kosovo, Pieter Feith, adding that the economy is still in need of significant reforms.

“The global recession is affecting the country and Europe and the world. Kosovo cannot be fully shielded from this. One of the best ways for the economy of Kosovo to start growing again will be to ensure privatization, in particular of the power sector,” Feith said.

Decisions on possible privatizations “will be taken this year,” he added.

The ISG was established by United States and EU countries that have recognized Kosovo’s independence, in order to supervise and assist the Republic of Kosovo in the implementation of plans for maintaining local stability and developing economy.

The Group includes Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Turkey and the United States.