The EU envoy or the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak has sparked strong reactions in Kosovo following his statement that the Constitution of Kosovo “is not a Bible” and it should change.
Answering journalists’ questions in Belgrade on Thursday, Lajcak said that none of leaders in his 25 meeting in Prishtina refused to fulfill the country’s obligations stemming from the dialogue.
“Our stance is that we negotiate processes that are so serious, that it is logical the constitution should also change. Even at this point no one told me that this is impossible. It means that the Constitution is not Bible, and if we agree on serious things, then normally the constitution should change,” Lajcak stated.
His office denied that Lajcak talked only about the Kosovo constitution, TV Klan Kosova reported. They argued that when countries reach international agreements, they can change their constitutions.
Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani told Kosovo media that Lajcak’s statement in Serbia is “absolutely not true”.
”Regarding his statement about changing the constitution, I say with full responsibility that during the meeting [with Lajcak] I stated that the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo must be respected, and no third power can be established, even less so bodies with executive powers that could be in conflict with the constitution,” Osmani said.
The spokesperson of opposition’s Vetevendosje, Perparim Kryeziu said Lajcak did not discuss the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities in their meeting with Vetevendosje leadership.
“The dialogue process was discussed in the meeting with Mr. Lajcak. The ASM could not be a meeting topic as Mr. Lajcak is very aware of Vetevendosje’s stance,” wrote Kryeziu on Facebook.
Vetevendosje strongly opposed the agreement by even setting off tear gas in parliament when it was set for ratification.
Kosovo’s former chief negotiator in talks with Serbia, Edita Tahiri also took to Twitter to slam Lajcak’s statement.
“Following Miroslav Lajcak’s recent visit to Kosovo and Serbia, my message to him is that point of departure towards the final agreement is for Serbia to change its constitution by removing Kosovo from it. I am speaking in my capacity as former Kosovo Chief Negotiator for 7 years,” Tahiri wrote.
On Friday, two activists of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), with no parliamentary seats, were arrested following their protest nearby the European Union presence in Pristina. Frasher Krasniqi, a former Vetevendosje MP, and Zgjim Hyseni were arrested after they painted “EU Dividing People” on a wall.
Teute Rrusta of PSD told the media that Lajcak chose Belgrade to send a problematic message that only perpetuates the conflict between the two countries.
“EU in this case is playing a problematic role, it is dividing people instead of contributing to the improvement of relations, peace and equality between nations,” Rrusta said.
Jeta Krasniqi, an analyst and researcher at the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) called the statement “very disturbing”.
“Not in line with his mandate as a facilitator. I would very much like to hear him publicly ask Serbia to change its constitution and recognize Kosovo with the same ease he discusses the change of Kosovo’s constitution,” she wrote on Twitter.
The Government and President did not react by the time of the publishing of this article, while reactions from MPs, NGOs, civil society, etc., were numerous.