28. September. 2020. | 01:08


Beyond Constructive Ambiguity - How to Stop Worrying and Love the Association/Community of K/Serb Majority Municipalities



While aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kosovo is faced with a situation where the dialogue process had largely stalled and efforts to find a durable solution had seemingly collapsed as the United States and the European Union competed for influence in Kosovo.

 

Furthermore, within Kosovo, the government has struggled toprovide adequate and sustainable institutional solutions to discrimination, violence and segregation. None of these issues have been adequately addressed, nor have potential remedies been proposed by the current dialogue process. Furthermore, the rise of the concept of ‘partition’ as a proposed solution does not hold promise of addressing the institutional and legal concerns of Serbs in Kosovo, particularly those south of the river Ibar. The question that invariably arises because of this is whether or not Kosovo’s institutions are, from a structural standpoint, able or willing to address problems facing non-majority communities and protect their legal and constitutional rights in a systematic manner?

 

In order to this answer question, this proposal will look at the potential that an Association/Community of Kosovo-Serb Majority Municipalities (A/CSM) has to assuage many of the problems facing Kosovo Serbs. Its principle argument will be that the formation of such a body can create an institutional framework for a viable long-term solution to the aforementioned issues. This, along with other points of consideration, will be further elaborated in later passages.

It must be noted, before delving into greater detail regarding the potential formation of an A/CSM, that it has presented a number of legal challenges to Kosovo. Some aspects of the A/CSM were deemed potentially unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Kosovo in a decision issued on the 23rd of December 2015. This did bring into question the eventual nature and scope of the power that the A/CSM would have. However, in the absence of any clear agreement or law regarding the establishment of the A/CSM passed by the Assembly of Kosovo, it is premature to enter into a detailed discussion of the legality of an as-yet non-existent entity. Aside from this, the fact that the Kosovo government is party to the Brussels Agreement (2013) and the Association/Community of Serb Majority Municipalities in Kosovo – General Principles/Main Elements (2015) means that it is legally bound to creating the A/CSM and not doing so would be a clear abdication of the commitment that it made by signing those accords.

Taking these arguments into consideration, this proposal will not seek to analyse in any detail the legal minutiae of the A/CSM but rather to present a set of arguments in favour of its creation and why it is necessary in order to fully preserve and protect the Kosovo Serb community and indeed contribute (positively) to local and regional stability as well as the peace-building process.

This paper was drafted in the belief and assumption that the A/CSM should have a set of powers as envisaged by Articles 4-6 of the Brussels Agreement which state that the Association/Community should have ‘full overview’ in key areas of public life in Serb-majority communities. It was conceived and drafted having a ‘best-case’ scenario in mind in order to demonstrate the positive potential it holds for both Kosovo and the region as a whole.

 

Beyond Constructive Ambiguity - How to Stop Worrying and Love the Association/Community of K/Serb Majority Municipalities

 

This paper was published within the framework of the project Increasing the Advocacy Potential of Kosovo Serb Civil Society Organizations, implemented by NGO Aktiv with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED.) The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of NGO Aktiv and does not necessarily reflect the views of NED.