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news 23 May 13

Kosovo, Serbia Agree EU Deal Action Plan

Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have agreed on a harmonized plan to implement the recent Brussels-led agreement, the EU foreign policy chief announced.

BIRN, Beta Belgrade
 
 Thaci, Dacic and Ashton in Brussels, Photo by Beta/AP

The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said the prime ministers of Kosovo and Serbia on Wednesday agreed a fixed text on implementing the recent EU-brokered deal.

Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic "will be in touch with me by the end of the week," Ashton added.

The agreement, which Kosovo and Serbia struck on April 19, is intended to normalise relations between the two sides and thus boost both sides' progress towards the EU.

It primarily addresses the vexed issue of Serbian state-run "parallel institutions" in the north of Kosovo, where most of the population is ethnic Serbian.

Implementation of the agreement is the condition for Serbia to obtain a start date for the opening of accession talks with the EU, while Kosovo has the prospect of obtaining a Stabilization and Association Agreement, SAA, the first step towards membership.

Dacic said the implementation plan confirmed the existence of "a serious intention" to  enact the deal, which was signed in April.

The plan will become effective after the governments of Serbia and Kosovo confirm it and inform Ashton of this in writing.

According to Dacic, during phase one, "a working group comprising representatives of both sides will be set up and charged with suggesting which laws should be amended. The other part of the plan refers to the Community of Serb Municipalities [in Kosovo]".

Thaci said that details of the implementation of the plan "will be settled later in meetings of expert teams, as well as by the governments of Serbia and Kosovo.

"We have agreed in principle on the steps for the implementation of the agreement over the next six months," Thaci said on Wednesday.

Dacic said dialogue with Kosovo would continue with talks on the property of the displaced persons and refugees, Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and the status in Kosovo of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


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