- July 9, 2023
- Posted by: admin
- Category: English Publications
Memorandum on the de-escalation and normalization of relations between Kosova and Serbia
Instituti Shqiptar për Gjeopolitikë / Albanian Institute for Geopolitics
The Albanian Institute for Geopolitics acknowledges the urgent need to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the current crisis in northern Kosova. Considering the proposed steps by the Government of Kosova, the requirements of the European Union, and the agreements reached in the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, particularly the agreement reached on February 27th in Brussels, we propose the following memorandum to all involved parties:
1. De-escalation measures, holding new elections, participation of Serbs, and establishment of the Association:
a. Commitments of Kosova:
I. The Government of Kosova will gradually reduce the presence of the Kosova Police in and around municipal buildings to mitigate violence. This will be a measured response to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
II. Full access and monitoring of judicial proceedings regarding perpetrators of violence will be ensured by EULEX (European Union Rule of Law Mission) and relevant NGOs focusing on human rights. This will guarantee transparency, accountability, and fair legal processes.
III. Early elections will be organized in the four northern municipalities, provided that current mayors resign or upon a petition supported by at least 20% of the electorate, as stipulated by Kosova law. The election date will be determined after confirmation by the President regarding the fulfillment of withdrawal requests and in coordination with the international community.
IV. The four mayors of the northern municipalities of Kosova will be instructed to transfer their authority to the newly elected chairmen after certification by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in accordance with Kosova law.
V. Once the above-mentioned points are implemented, the establishment of the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority will commence through dialogue facilitated by the EU.
b. Commitments of Serbia:
I. Serbia will withdraw violent protesters from municipal buildings and the surrounding areas. This will contribute to de-escalating the situation and creating a conducive environment for dialogue and cooperation.
II. Serbia pledges to cooperate with Kosova in detaining and prosecuting lawbreakers. EULEX will monitor the process to ensure full compliance with due legal procedures.
III. Serbia will reduce the readiness of its armed forces to a non-emergency level, refrain from new troop movements, and dismantle the 48 previously established Operational Bases along the border. These actions will help alleviate tensions and foster increased mutual trust.
IV. Serbia will abstain from impeding or interfering with the rights of ethnic Serb citizens and all political parties to freely participate in the local electoral process without intimidation, coercion, or any form of influence.”
2. Regional Cooperation and Compatibility:
a. Both parties, Kosova and Serbia, commit to fully respect the rules of the Common Regional Market of the Berlin Process and agree to implement the EU’s Acquis Communautaire for regional free trade in accordance with the established agreements. This commitment will enhance economic cooperation and stability in the region.
3. Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue and Implementation Annex:
a. Both parties reaffirm their dedication to an intensive dialogue for the comprehensive, unconditional, balanced, consistent, and continuous implementation of the Basic Agreement and its Implementing Annex. The dialogue process, facilitated by the European Union, will continue with renewed impetus to achieve a legally binding agreement for the full normalization of their relations.
b. The parties will deepen future cooperation in various areas such as the economy, science and technology, transportation and connectivity, judicial and law enforcement relations, postal services and telecommunications, health, culture, religion, sports, environmental protection, missing persons, displaced persons, and other relevant fields through the conclusion of additional relevant agreements. Details will be agreed upon in annex-agreements mediated by the EU-led Dialogue.
c. Specific agreements and guarantees will be established or adopted to ensure an appropriate level of self-governance for the Serbian community in Kosova, in accordance with the relevant previous Dialogue agreements and the decision of the Constitutional Court. The Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosova will be granted official status, and Serbian religious and cultural heritage sites will receive sustainable protection through the establishment of a law for religious communities in Kosova.
4. Missing Persons:
a. Both parties acknowledge and recognize the importance of resolving the fate of missing persons. They commit to close cooperation in identifying the burial sites of missing persons and conducting excavations, ensuring full, reliable, and accurate access to information. The parties undertake to make all relevant documentation available and employ advanced technology in the discovery of mass graves. They also pledge to involve the families of missing persons in the identification process and address their rights and needs.
b. A joint commission, chaired by the European Union and overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will be established to support efforts in resolving the fate of unidentified missing persons. The work and progress made by the Working Group on Missing Persons will be monitored and supported through this Joint Commission.
We strongly believe that the normalization of relations between Kosova and Serbia is achievable through dialogue, cooperation, and the implementation of agreed-upon measures. By committing to this Memorandum, all parties demonstrate their readiness and willingness to work towards sustainable peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.