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Solution contributing to peace in the region and Serbia’s smooth EU path

March 31, 2018 Source: Tanjug

The Working Group for Chapter 35 of the National Convention on the EU presented to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, in a session held within the Internal Dialogue or Kosovo and Metohija today, that they expect such a solution for Kosovo and Metohija that would be conducive to both preserving peace and security in the region, and to Serbia’s smooth path towards the EU.

National Convention on the EU

Photo: Office for Kosovo and Metohija

The Working Group for Chapter 35 also pointed out that the platform for the comprehensive resolution of the Kosovo and Metohija issue must also be in line with the international context. The positions taken by the WG were read out today in a debate of the National Convention held within the Internal Dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija.

As to the peace in the region and the safety of the citizens, the Working Group emphasizes that any escalation of relations is conducive to new tensions, which does not resolve the Kosovo issue, but instead aggravates lives of the Serbs in Kosovo and leads to new divisions in society.

Building of a lasting peace, as the WG points out, requires establishment of the rule of law.

The proposal for a comprehensive solution for the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina should enable Serbia's unhindered path towards the EU membership, in line with the obligations that Serbia already undertook within the EU Negotiating Framework for Serbia, underlined the Working Group.

This proposed solution, the WG adds, should be sought in accordance with the international context, based on real benefits and costs for the citizens of Serbia, in cooperation with the international community, primarily with the EU, and in compromise with the institutions in Kosovo.

The Working Group emphasized that any proposal for a solution expressing the maximalist demands of either of the parties would be unacceptable.

The negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, as the Working Group pointed out, must be resumed in good faith and with full commitment of both sides towards finding a comprehensive solution.

Renouncing negotiations and abandoning implementation of the hitherto made agreements poses a great danger to the entire process of normalization of relations, and increases the mistrust about the genuine intentions of the two governments towards ensuring a normal life and prosperity for the citizens, states the Working Group among its positions.

The members of the WG have noted certain shortcomings in the manner in which the Internal Dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija has been conducted so far. They believe that additional efforts should be made to conduct the Internal Dialogue in the institutions, primarily in the Serbian Parliament.

It is necessary to continue the Internal Dialogue even after the platform on the solution of the Kosovo and Metohija issue has been presented to the public. It should be done so as to enable open and constructive dialogue between representatives of authorities, opposition, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as this is the only way to achieve social consensus, implement and ensure sustainability of the proposed solution, stated the Working Group at the session of the National Convention on the EU, opened by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić.

Dragojlović: Let's not lose what realistically is left to us

All chapters in Serbia's negotiations about EU accession are overshadowed by Chapter 35, and everything is conditioned by the progress made in the Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, said Nataša Dragojlović, Coordinator of the National Convention on the EU.

“Do we like that everything is conditioned by normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina? We don’t like it at all. Is it fair? It’s not. But it is a reality,” Dragojlović said at a meeting of the National Convention on the held within the Internal Dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija “The solution of the Kosovo Issue – an Opportunity or a Threat to the European perspective of Serbia”.

Until this issue has been resolved, we will not be able to focus our attention on resolving matters persisting in other chapters, Dragojlović said.

“Resolving the Kosovo issue is a matter surpassing all other issues. Without that we cannot devote our full attention to other reforms that are important for our citizens,” she said.

She thanked the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, for calling the NC to a meeting to discuss resolutions of the Kosovo issue, and pointed out that he was the first president to talk to NC.

She said that she has encouraged the President to forge a platform for resolving this problem, because Serbia needs a plan, one which would include all other actors in the “Kosovo drama”.

“Their plans could be public or secret, good or bad, it doesn’t matter. We are the only ones without a plan and we keep hoping that they would stop, but they don’t. We keep losing people, property, rights, reputation, self-confidence, chances, opportunities. We keep waiting for the other side to change, for the circumstances to change, as long as we don’t have to change anything. If we keep approaching the problem in the same way, we will have the same result every time, meaning the status quo,” Dragojlović said.

She emphasized that she believes that Serbia is able to make a plan and stop losing what realistically is left, and save what can be saved in real life.

“Nobody is going to deal with us or with our emotions. We have to understand that this has to be resolved. Otherwise, those with a plan will make it plain to us in a very rough and daily manner. So let's make a plan of our own, whatever it is, discuss it, harmonize it, vote on it, but the Dialogue must continue both internally and in Brussels, "she said.

She added that without a plan and allies, Serbia will only be left with an illusion that time will make it better, and that the problem will be resolved by itself.

“It is for the governments of both Kosovo and Serbia to enable normal life, freedom of movement, basic rights, the right to coexist, forgiveness and reconciliation of those whose lives are trapped in fears of frozen conflict. In my opinion, there should be a comprehensive normalization of the relationship between the Serbian and the Albanian people,” said Dragojlović.

She added that National Convention on the EU strongly condemned the assassination of Oliver Ivanović, and demanded that those responsible be arrested and punished, and that a person like Ivanovic, who always stood for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija, is missing in the Dialogue.

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Ethnically motivated incidents in Kosovo and Metohija, 2021 Negotiation process with Pristina Operational Factsheet
Time elapsed since assuming the obligation of establishing CSM
Year Month Week Day
9 113 492 3444