(L-R) Përparim Rama, Mayor of Pristina, and Franz Fayot, Luxembourg's Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, unveil the Hivzi Sylejmani Library plaque; Credit: MAEE

Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has announced the signature of a new bilateral agreement and a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Grand Duchy and Kosovo.

Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Franz Fayot, paid a working visit to Kosovo on Thursday 21 July 2022.

In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, Minister Fayot met with Besnik Bislimi, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, for a bilateral meeting, during which the ministers welcomed the "excellent" work done on both sides to advance the partnership between their two countries. Following this meeting, Ministers Fayot and Bislimi signed a new bilateral agreement (2023 to 2030) and a new MoU (2023 to 2025), which lay the groundwork for development cooperation relations between Luxembourg and Kosovo in the coming years.

The MoU, with an indicative budget of €35 million, defines as priority sectors vocational training, health, sustainable and inclusive growth and support for civil society. An additional amount will be made available through an innovation fund and can be dedicated to another sector, defined according to Kosovo's emerging needs. By including sustainable and inclusive growth as a priority sector, the MoU puts more emphasis on the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) and digitalisation, as well as on the ecological transition of Kosovo.

The visit also took place in the context of the opening of Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, the 14th edition of which will run from 22 July to 30 October 2022 in Pristina. Luxembourg's development cooperation programme is a key partner of Manifesta, in particular through the support of a project to renovate and transform the Hivzi Sylejmani Library into a public space with a focus on education and community. Minister Fayot participated in the unveiling of the library plaque, in the presence of the Minister of Culture of Kosovo, Hajrulla Çeku, the Mayor of Pristina, Përparim Rama, and the Director of Manifesta, Hedwig Fijen. Afterwards, Minister Fayot and Ms Fijen signed an addendum to the MoU dated December 2021, which grants additional funds to Manifesta to make the library more green.

In the evening, Minister Fayot took part in an opening reception for the 14th edition of Manifesta, organised jointly by the Embassy of Luxembourg in Kosovo and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which was held in the presence of Albin Kurti, Prime Minister of Kosovo.

A working lunch with Arbërie Nagavci, Minister of Education of Kosovo, and representatives of the UNDP and the Autostrada Biennale non-profit organisation, who had previously presented their projects, was also on the agenda. Discussions focused on promoting vocational training and the potential of creative industries in Kosovo.