From: Exit Staff
Dialogue with Serbia in 2020 Seen as Failure in Kosovo

The dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia during 2020 is seen as failure, the Prishtina- based news agency Kosovo Press writes.

Arber Fetahu from the Group for Legal and Political Studies says that regarding the dialogue 2020 was a year of discussions, not of a tangible result.

“Apart from the return of the two sides to the table, we did not see anything significant and big from this dialogue. Many topics were opened, many issues were discussed, including the technical topics of the agreements reached earlier,” Fetahu told Kosova Press.

He adds that the decision of the Constitutional Court for the country to go in snap elections, makes the future of the dialogue unclear.

“It is being reconfirmed that the end of the dialogue is unclear, its future is unclear,” he said.

However, the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) says 2020 brought an “historical” deal between Kosovo and Serbia, referring to the Washington agreement.

The outgoing Prime Minister coming from LDK, Avdullah Hoti and the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic signed separate pledges titled “Economic Normalization” on September 4, in the White House, each prefaced by a congratulatory note by President Trump, who also called it “an historical deal”.

“The conclusions from that [Washington] agreement were almost minimal, compared to the expectations of the Kosovo side,” Fetahu said.

Fitore Pacolli, a Parliament Member of Vetevendosje Movement told Kosova Press she was pessimist about the implementation of the Washington agreement.

“We do not expect anything with this agreement signed in Washington, we expect a new start with the new President of the United State of America,” Pacolli said.

The Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, resumed in July following a break of about two years.

During 2020 there two meetings between the outgoing Prime Minister Hoti and Serbian President Vucic in Brussels, one in Washington and one virtual meeting at the Paris Summit. While 6 meetings took place at the experts level.

Blerta Deliu, an MP from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) said that the country lost “the historical opportunity” for a final agreement with Serbia during 2020.

“2021 should be the year when we end this long marathon of dialogue discussions which has taken a lot of time and energy from Kosovo, and a final agreement binding both parties with mutual recognition that is our main condition, is necessary, then also a seat in the United Nations,” Deliu said.

An issue that has been hindering the process of the dialogue between two countries during the last months, is establishing Association of Serb- majority Municipalities, on which two parties have different approaches.

The ASM was part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. It stipulated that Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo will be able to form a self-governing association with full governing power in many areas, including education, health, economic development, urban planning.

In 2015, they agreed on principles for the establishment of the ASM. In December 2015, Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ruled parts of the 2013 agreement unconstitutional, and the establishment of the association stalled.

The Kosovo government insisted that the ASM is a closed topic, according to the 2013 agreement. While Serbia wants it renegotiated and implemented in a short time.