Dear Mr. Kryeziu,
Dear Heads of the Parliamentary Groups,
Dear Members of the Parliaments,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am glad to address you today at the conference organized by our partner - the Kosovo Democratic Institute.
As the title of this conference says, the dialogue enters a new chapter. There is a new Government in place in Pristina, both countries have a government backed up with a solid majority in the parliament, and last week, both leaders have met for the first time in Brussels.
Speaking about the role of parliament in regard to the dialog, we need to bear in mind three elements:
1) Different Governments may have different political priorities, but when it comes to the normalization process with Serbia it is a matter of national interest, no matter who represents the Republic of Kosovo in Brussels. A broad political consensus is an important factor in preparing for a sustainable solution in the long run and events like this one today make a contribution to this end.
2) The importance of a political consensus is confirmed by the fact that no matter what will be agreed in Brussels, one day it needs to be ratified in the Parliament. In this view, it is also important for Members of the Parliament to stay informed about the normalization process. It is good to see that the Assembly of Kosovo makes use of various instruments and that the Government has already reported to the Assembly.
3) The Parliament has to take its responsibility serious and oversee the implementation of the existing agreements. Do they exist only on paper or do they have a positive impact on the ground? The oversight function is a key responsibility of the parliament, and especially parliamentary committees play an important role in that regard.
Switzerland is glad to contribute to all these three elements through our partnership with the Assembly of Kosovo and the Kosovo Democratic Institute.
I am looking forward to listening to the presentation and the following panels with the views of parliamentary groups and the experts. Thank you!