The European Union and the Government of Kosovo launched today the 13th round of the EU Masters Scholarship Programme which aims to improve the work of public administration and the services it provides to all people living in Kosovo by providing higher education to current and future civil servants.
The programme known as the Young Cell Scheme is helping harmonise the functioning of Kosovo’s public administration with the EU standards thus helping Kosovo advance on its EU integration path.
“The EU first started supporting the masters-level education of serving and future civil servants in Kosovo back in 2004. Since then 364 civil servants were educated in areas deemed most necessary by the Government and have greatly contributed to the work of the public administration in Kosovo and the quality of services it provides,” said the EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog.
“By launching the 13th round of the EU Masters Scholarship Programme, which will include at least 40 new students and civil servants, we are continuing to support Kosovo in improving its public administration and making it apolitical and more professional, transparent, and accountable.
“We strongly encourage the participation of women and non-majority communities in the programme.”
The EU’s investment in the first 12 and the three new rounds of the Masters Scholarships Programme will amount to EUR 15.3 million. The Government of Kosovo started co-funding the programme from its 11th round and with the commitment to the next three rounds, it will have invested EUR 2.5 million in the education of civil servants at the universities in the EU. By 2026, at least 470 people from Kosovo should benefit from the programme.
‘’The Government of Kosovo remains committed to further advancing the process of public administration reforms, using the project as one of the best opportunities that ensures and promotes transparency and meritocracy within the civil service. We consider this project unique, because it enables simultaneous achievement of several goals.’’ said the first Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Besnik Bislimi.
‘’It is the most sustainable investment in the framework of development cooperation, because unlike many other projects that focus on assistance from external expertise, it enables the empowerment of local agents of change within the country, and moreover within the governing system.”
The EU Masters Scholarships Programme obliges its beneficiaries to work for one of Kosovo’s institutions for at least three years following graduation. The next three rounds of the programme will be implemented by the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki from Greece, and the Institut National du Service Public, from France, in close cooperation with the Government of Kosovo.