On Wednesday, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, addressed the European Parliament in a formal sitting in Strasbourg.
“The Republic of Kosovo and its people continue to look to the future – a European future”, said President Osmani and called for more robust regional cooperation. “We have extended a hand of cooperation to all our neighbours and we have done so in large part because our people deserve a brighter future”, she added. To Serbs living in Kosovo, she stressed that Kosovo “is your home. And we will do everything in our power to make sure that you feel protected, included, equal and heard.”
As the first President of Kosovo, since Kosovo’s independence in 2008, to speak before the European Parliament, she stressed that her country wants a sustainable, just peace, and stability with respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and good neighbourly relations at its heart.
“In this process, we need strong European leadership – that we so often witness in this Parliament – across every institution. This will require a proactive, credible and straightforward roadmap for our region’s future as part of the European family,” she said.
Talking about Kosovo’s path to EU membership, President Osmani said her country recognises the challenges that lie ahead of it and that Kosovo believes in a merit-based process for countries that truly respect and act upon European values. “In our DNA European values and the EU spirit are deeply engrained. It is these values that shaped our past, inspire us in the present, and guide us towards a future where Kosovo flourishes as a beacon of European ideals,” she added.
President Osmani stressed Kosovo’s commitment to the rule of law and justice as well as to combating crime and corruption and enhancing transparency. She said Kosovo is also focused on advancing gender equality and promoting women empowerment in all walks of life.
“EU values serve as our moral compass and guide us and our people to the highest peaks of achievement,” President Osmani said.
With regard to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, President Osmani said there should be “no gray zone as to where we stand on autocracies and tyrannies. (…) Kosovo may be a small country, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to support our Ukrainian friends,” she said.