In 2008, the EU reiterated that Kosovo* had a clear European perspective in line with the European perspective of the Western Balkans region, hence the potential candidate status that Kosovo* has currently. In October 2012, the European Commission issued a Feasibility Study for a SAA between the EU and Kosovo*, concluding Kosovo* readiness to open negotiations for Stabilisation and Association Agreement, once agreed specific steps are taken.

Legal framework covering the main horizontal environmental acquis, EU air quality standards and nature conservation is already in place. The alignment with European standards in the area of environment and climate change remains at an early stage, and the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation should be enhanced. In line with the obligations from SAA, Kosovo needs to further enhance the administrative capacities in order to complete the legal framework in accordance with the EU standards.

The level of alignment is limited despite some progress. Kosovo* is not a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and therefore has not prepared an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Strategy on climate change has been finalised but remains to be adopted by the government. Its implementation should be consistent with the EU 2030 framework of climate and energy policies and integrated into all relevant sectors. In addition to 58 mitigation measures foreseen in the strategy, additional efforts are needed to adapt to climate change. The National Council for Environment and Climate Change should also take more concrete measures to mainstream climate action.

The main beneficiary institution of RIPAP in Kosovo is the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and it is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.