Successive amendments to the agreement were introduced in the original document. This consolidated version is only of documentary value. On 7 November, the EU and Serbia signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (ASA). This agreement, which defines the respective rights and obligations of the signatories, provides a framework for the implementation of the reforms that will bring this potential candidate country closer to the EU. The decision has been in effect since February 26, 2009 and the agreement since April 1, 2009. The agreement with Kosovo was the first to be signed after the Lisbon Treaty came into force, which brought down the EU`s legal personality.   An EU representative in Kosovo stated that « unlike the ASA with other countries in the region, this agreement will be exclusively the EU agreement. The EU will sign them as a legal entity.  The agreement did not have to be ratified individually by each Member State, some of which did not recognize Kosovo`s independence.  The representative added: « Since Kosovo is not recognised by the five Member States, we had to adopt a directive stating that the signing of the agreement will not mean that the EU or any of the countries will recognise Kosovo as a state. »  Stabilization and association agreements are part of the EU stabilisation and association process (PSA) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At present, the countries of the Western Balkans are at the heart of the PSA.
Specific Stabilization and Association Agreements (ASAs) have been implemented with various Balkan countries, which contain explicit provisions for the country`s future accession to the EU. The SAAs resemble in principle the European agreements signed in the 1990s with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the association agreement with Turkey. The ASAs rely mainly on the EU`s EU acquis and are based on their enactment in the legislation of the cooperating countries. The political harmonisation expected by the ASA is lower than for EU Member States; Some areas of action of the Community acquis may not fall under a specific ASA. The ASA is based on a number of key principles. Albania agrees: on 6 November, the EC published its progress reports on candidate and potential candidate countries (including Serbia) as well as its 2007-08 enlargement strategy document. In the latter case, Serbia`s cooperation with the ICTY and the current status of the ASA were described as follows: « A new reformist government was formed in May 2007. It quickly achieved positive results in cooperation with the ICTY, which enabled the Commission to complete negotiations for a Stabilization and Association Agreement (ASA). Serbia still needs to fulfil its international obligations of full cooperation with the ICTY before the ASA can be signed. The effective signing of the ASA has not yet taken place and depends on Serbia`s full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Speaking before the plenary session of the European Parliament on 24 October, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the signing of the ASA was « within reach » but would require full cooperation with the ICTY, which would lead to the arrest and transfer to The Hague of the four remaining criminals charged.
Working document of the Commission`s services – Albania Report 2018 – Accompanying document Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament, to the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Communication 2018 on EU Enlargement Policy (SWD (2018) 151 final, 17.4.2018) The EU supports projects with a regional or cross-border dimension through its technical assistance programmes.