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

highs-and-downs-in-relations-between-listasrpska-and-kosovo-institutions-10-11-2016 profile 19 Oct 16 Serb Party Pushes Belgrade’s Agenda in Kosovo

The main Kosovo Serb party’s boycott of parliament shows that its decisions are guided by Belgrade, while also highlighting Pristina political leaders’ inability to integrate the country’s Serb minority.

kosovo-s-privatisation-process-obstructed-by-serbia-10-13-2016 Analysis 17 Oct 16 Kosovo’s Privatisation Process Obstructed by Serbia

Kosovo’s efforts to privatise state companies from the Yugoslav era have continued to face strong opposition from Serbia, which has been seeking to assert control over key assets in its former province.

resolution-on-arrest-of-kosovo-police-director-10-12-2016 news 12 Oct 16 Kosovo MPs Demand Serbia Releases Police Director

Kosovo’s parliament passed a resolution calling for the release of Mitrovica police director Nehat Thaci, who was arrested in Serbia on terrorism charges, and for the EU to intervene to ensure he is freed.

serbia-do-not-recognize-pristina-decision-10-11-2016 News 11 Oct 16 Serbia Rejects Kosovo’s Trepca Mine Takeover

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Belgrade does not accept the Kosovo government’s decision to put the huge ex-Yugoslav Trepca mining complex under Pristina’s control.

kosovo-serbia-agreements-were-doomed-from-the-start-10-10-2016 Comment 11 Oct 16 Kosovo-Serbia Agreements Were Doomed From the Start

It is no surprise that none of the four agreements signed last year have got anywhere when both governments have been insincere about the normalisation process from the beginning.

kosovo-s-president-asks-for-justice-on-war-crimes-10-10-2016 news 10 Oct 16 Kosovo President Demands Prosecutors Probe War Crimes

President Hashim Thaci sent letters to Kosovo prosecutors urging them to take action to resolve a series of crimes against both ethnic Albanians and Serbs during and after the war in 1999.

kosovo-police-director-denies-serbian-terror-charges-10-10-2016 news 10 Oct 16 Kosovo Police Director Denies Serbian ‘Terror’ Charges

Nehat Thaci, the Kosovo Police director in the Mitrovica area who was arrested last month by Serbia, denied charges accusing him of staging a terrorist attack on a Serb family in 1999.

kosovo-parliament-to-debate-trepca-law-despite-protests-10-07-2016 News 07 Oct 16 Kosovo Parliament to Debate Trepca Law Despite Protests

Kosovo’s parliament is due to start a debate on the draft law on the Trepca mine amid controversy over the exact plans and protests by Serbia and Kosovo Serbs.

djuric-prohibited-from-entering-in-kosovo-10-03-2016 News 03 Oct 16 Kosovo Blocks Serbian Official's Planned Visit

Kosovo on Monday refused to allow Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian government’s Kosovo office, into the country, having ordered him out in September for breaking the protocol on Serbian official visits.

kosovo-police-director-arrested-in-serbia-09-29-2016 news 29 Sep 16 Serbia Arrests Kosovo Police Director for ‘Terrorism’

Kosovo police’s director in the Mitrovica area, Nehat Thaci, has been arrested at a border crossing by the Serbian authorities on terrorism charges, although the specific allegations remain unknown.