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Kosovo and Serbia leaders have a long list of topics to tackle at their next meeting in Brussels - though whether Serbia's 'parallel' institutions in Kosovo will also be discussed is unclear.
Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic, the Prime Ministers of Kosovo and Serbia, have a full agenda ahead of them at their fourth meeting in Brussels on January 17, where the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina dialogue will continue.
Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, told Balkan Insight that the two statesman will firstly discuss implementation of previously reached agreements.
Serbian officials have specified that Dacic and Thaci will discuss action on their border agreement and disputed customs arrangements.
Under the terms of the border agreement, Kosovo and Serbian customs and police officers started standing under one roof on border crossings in December.
But disagreement continues about customs. Belgrade insists that the agreement permits excise goods up to 3.5 tons, and all non-excise goods intended for Serb-run northern Kosovo, to enter Kosovo from Serbia, duty-free.
The authorities in Pristina claim the opposite, saying that taxes must be paid on all incoming goods.
Local Serbs in northern Kosovo meanwhile oppose paying taxes on goods from Serbia to Pristina.
Northern Kosovo, which borders Serbia, is almost entirely comprised of Serbs and the authorities there do not recognise Kosovo's independence or the government in Pristina.
The area remains under the day-to-day control of so-called parallel institutions, funded by Belgrade, including town councils, health authorities, post offices and schools.
Aleksandar Vulin, head of Serbia's Kosovo Office, told the daily newspaper Danas that the two prime ministers will also discuss financing of the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, in northern Kosovo.
Kosovo stopped paying local UNMIK staff there in July 2012 and opened an administrative office in the northern Serb-run part of the town of Mitrovica, aiming to transfer UNMIK's assignments and caseload to the newly opened office.
Thaci said on January 14 that one of the topics of the upcoming meeting will also be disbanding Serbian-financed institutions in northern Kosovo.
Thaci also said that Pristina will not discuss Serbia's recently adopted official platform and parliamentary resolution on Kosovo, which demands a high level of autonomy for Serbs.
The Serbian government, on the proposal of President Tomislav Nikolic, adopted the political platform on January 9.
It demands a high level of territorial and political autonomy for Serbian municipalities throughout Kosovo, including their own police and judiciary.
Dacic said on January 15 that talks on Serbian government institutions in Kosovo are yet to start, and the plan is to discuss them by summer.
The Serbian leader added that the so-called platform will have to be discussed in Brussels as it contains Serbia’s proposals on how to solve the wider issue of Kosovo.
“The platform is our view on how to move on,” Dacic said.
The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was launched in March 2011 in Brussels. The two sides have since reached agreements on border management, which was part of a freedom of movement deal, as well as deals on Kosovo’s representation at regional meetings, university diplomas and trade.
There is considerable disagreement on the extent to which the deals have been implemented.
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