Home Page
news 21 Dec 12

Belgrade Demands Self Rule for Kosovo Serbs

Belgrade seek broadest self rule for an 'Autonomous Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo', Serbia's draft platform on Kosovo reads.

Bojana Barlovac, Edona Peci Beta Belgrade

Serbian authorities demand a high level of territorial and political autonomy for Serbian municipalities there, the platform on which the country's officials agreed on Sunday reads.

These include Strpce and Gracanica in central and southern Kosovo, and Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan in the north.

According to the document, Belgrade wants their autonomy guaranteed by Kosovo's own highest laws and the international community.

Pristina MPs discuss Serbia's platform on Kosovo

Kosovo’s opposition criticized the government’s stand on the Serbian draft-platform for Kosovo saying it is a continuation of Pristina’s “retro-active” policy towards Belgrade since the start of dialogue in March 2011.

“There is a need for an extreme proaction if we want things not to turn harmful for the Republic of Kosovo”, Skender Hyseni, MP of the oppositional Kosovo’s Democratic League, LDK, said during the Parliament’s session.

The “Self-Determination” Movement which has rejected any kind of dialogue with Serbia unless it recognizes Kosovo independence considered the platform was another hit for Kosovo.

Visar Ymeri, a “Self-Determination” MP blamed Kosovo’s government for “fondling” Serbia.

“During any negotiation process held with Serbia so far, it has been proved that as long as you fondle Serbia, it becomes wilder and worse”, he stressed.

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.

The platform also asks that smaller Serbian enclaves, such as villages, be granted the status of municipalities and special status.

Serbian authorities stressed in the document that a starting point for negotiations with Pristina is that Serbia cannot recognise the independence of Kosovo, proclaimed in 2008.

“The Republic of Serbia does not and will never recognize Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence,” it says.

The autonomous Serbian municipalities should, according to the document, have exclusive competences in the field of education, healthcare, judiciary, internal affairs, sport, culture, media, environmental protection, urban planning, agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, telecommunications, trade, economic and fiscal policies, and finance.

Thaci may withdraw from Kosovo talks

Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci may pull out of the Belgrade-Pristina talks if Serbian PM Ivica Dacic insists on solutions from the Serbian platform for Kosovo.

This is according to Pristina coordinator of political teams in talks on normalization of relations with Belgrade Blerim Shala.

He said that Kosovo “will not discuss and has nothing to discuss about the paper in Brussels or any other city in the world,” Pristina-based daily newspaper Koha Ditore has reported.

“We have nothing to talk about regarding this document. None of us should talk about the document with anyone anywhere, not in Brussels, Tunisia or any anywhere else. The document is wrong from the beginning until the end and it is contrary to what happened in Kosovo. We will not waste time talking about the document,” Shala said.

It is also demanded that an "Autonomous Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo" be guaranteed direct cooperation with the Belgrade authorities, including additional financing from the Serbian budget.

The Autonomous Serbian Community will independently decide on the choice and use of its symbols, the document says.

Belgrade also demands that special ties between the Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, and the Pristina authorities be established, as well as international guarantees concerning issues of Church assets and activities in Kosovo.

Serbia's President, Tomislav Nikolic, presented the platform to foreign ambassadors in Serbia on Wednesday and then to the leaders of Serbian opposition parties on Thursday.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-s-decision-sparks-new-belgrade-pristina-tension-03-15-2017 News 15 Mar 17 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Grabbing its Property

The head of Serbia's Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, has denounced a decision to register the Kosovo state as the owner of the all immovable property once registered in the name of Yugoslavia or Serbia.

thaci-ready-to-resign-if-kosovo-army-bill-fails-03-10-2017 News 11 Mar 17 Thaci Threatens to Quit if Kosovo Army Bill Fails

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Friday said he would resign if parliament does not approve a law transforming the current Security Force into a regular army.

the-majority-in-serbia-unwilling-to-go-to-war-for-kosovo-02-14-2017 News 14 Feb 17 Most Serbians Unwilling to Fight for Kosovo: Survey

Three-quarters of Serbian citizens do not want to wage war to win Kosovo back, suggested a survey which also indicated that the majority support continued dialogue with Pristina.

kosovo-s-president-with-an-initiative-of-reconciliation-02-13-2017 news 13 Feb 17 Kosovo’s Thaci Announces Post-War Reconciliation Commission

President Hashim Thaci announced a new Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he said was intended to encourage mutual forgiveness among Kosovo’s Albanians and Serbs.

mitrovica-bridge-still-dividing-instead-of-uniting-kosovo-02-12-2017 Interview 13 Feb 17 Mitrovica Bridge Still Dividing Instead of Uniting Kosovo

Kosovo, Serbian and international actors are going from one mistake to another as they try to resolve the issue of the infamous bridge in Mitrovica, Nexhmedin Spahiu says.

mayor-of-presevo-disapproving-territories-exchange-proposal-02-06-2017 interview 07 Feb 17 Presevo Mayor: Territorial Swap Would Destabilise Balkans

The mayor of Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian town of Presevo dismissed a US Congressman's idea of swapping mainly Albanian parts of southern Serbia for the Serb-populated part of northern Kosovo.

kosovo-serbs-already-got-used-to-belgrade-s-political-provocations-02-03-2017 news 03 Feb 17 Vucic Blames Kosovo, EU for Spike in Tensions

Serbia's Prime Minister said he had appealed to Kosovo Serb leaders to calm tensions in northern Kosovo, but locals say Belgrade holds a fair share in spike of strains.

government-unclear-on-its-plans-according-to-wall-in-north-kosovo-01-30-2017 news 31 Jan 17 Kosovo Hesitates to Demolish Serb Wall In North

Kosovo's government has yet to clarify its likely course towards the wall erected by the Serb authorities in the divided northern town of Mitrovica, despite a parliamentary resolution ordering its removal by the end of the month.

russian-experts-dismiss-putin-trump-deal-on-kosovo-01-25-2017 News 25 Jan 17 Russian Experts Dismiss Putin-Trump Kosovo Deal

Russian analysts have dismissed suggestions that Moscow might recognise Kosovo's independence as a wider deal with the US, saying Russia would never betray its ally Serbia.

kosovo-eyes-territory-measurement-amid-border-uncertainties-01-24-2017 news 25 Jan 17 Kosovo to Map Territory Amid Border Uncertainties

The Kosovo government is aiming to map the country’s territory precisely for the first time, nine years after declaring independence, following a political dispute over a border agreement with Montenegro.