Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani has stated that Kosovo had progressed in lobbying with the five European Union members which do not recognize its independence, and that Pristina would continue to "be constructive and make compromises" in the dialogue with Belgrade.
"We wish to use the next year on two fronts. First – to advance in the important reforms that will bring our country closer to the EU. Second – in convincing all EU members to support Kosovo's membership and give us the status of candidate," Osmani stated on Dec. 8 in an interview to the Brussels-based portal EurActiv.
At the EU-Western Balkan summit in Tirana on Dec. 6, Osmani officially announced that Kosovo would apply for EU membership by the end of the year and, in order for the candidate status to be granted, a unanimous decision is required from all 27 members, five of which (Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Romania and Slovakia) do not recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo.
Asked to elaborate on the strategies and approaches Kosovo was using regarding the five countries which do not recognize Kosovo, Osmani said that the step-by-step approach was being implemented and that there had been progress. Osmani added that a high level of economic cooperation already existed with some countries, in tourism and culture, that documents are recognized, which meant that formal recognition was the only thing that remained.