20. June. 2018. | 03:53

MSC: Kosovo issue should be resolved through a double package

A comprehensive agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, without the recognition of Kosovo, is a frozen conflict, said civil activist Ljubisa Mijačić. On the other hand, Nenad Maksimovic, the Manager of the NGO Center for Peace and Tolerance, remarks that there is no solution to the issue of Kosovo status. However, there is a procedure for its resolving. 

Mijačić says that it is headed towards a comprehensive agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. His assessment is that, without the recognition of Kosovo, the agreement is a frozen conflict.

"If there is no recognition, what affirmation Kosovo may have? We will still be the stumbling block and collateral over which the Kosovo state does not change attitude. The level of discrimination will continue increasing, while the level of return of displaced people already has a negative trend; therefore, I personally believe that this comprehensive agreement, whatever designed and imagined, does not offer anything to Kosovo society, "- he says.

Mijačić believes that Kosovo does not have any European perspective. In that context, he mentions several reports and emphasizes that in 2035, Kosovo will not even be moving towards negotiations and open chapters. This, as he states, means nothing, because there is no discussion about its EU membership.

"I think that the pressure is primarily on the Kosovo elite to explain to its people that, without a compromise with Serbia, they cannot move away anywhere and that stagnation is guaranteed in the next twenty years. The focus is on the side of reaching an agreement and I expect a solution in a year, "- says Mijačić.

On the other hand, the director of the NGO Center for Peace and Tolerance, Nenad Maksimovic, emphasizes that we must give priority to reading over listening, and that the signing of a legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia represents a part of Serbia's pre-accession negotiations with the EU.

"In 2013, a negotiating framework was created and the signing of an agreement was envisaged by it, so there is no place to wonder about its sudden appearance. I rarely agree with politicians, but I would agree with one who once said that there was no solution to the status of Kosovo, but that there was rather a resolution procedure."- says Maksimovic.

Signing the agreement and setting some lines in relations with Kosovo and with the Albanians within the Serbian lines, does not solve the abnormality of life, Maksimovic claims. He warns that, in the end, the life of a man in Klokot, Gracanica, Ranilug will not change...because people will still be exposed to the same problems. 

"We have to solve problems. When talking about dialogue, we need to distinguish the double package-one referring to the institutional arrangement of relations between central Serbia and Kosovo, and the second referring to the institutional arrangement of the life of Serbs in Kosovo and their relationship with the central Kosovo institutions and their links with Serbia, "- Maksimovic emphasizes.

These are two separate things that are merged. Solving a single package without the other one will regulate some relationships, but we will not improve life, which is something we need to work more on, I believe." - says Maksimovic.

Maksimovic and Mijačić participated in the debate "Inner Monologue" initiated and organized by the NGO "Aktiv" in North Mitrovica, with the aim of providing space for wider number of people, experts and leaders from the community to express their opinion on issues that affect the preservation of the Serbian community in Kosovo.

This initiative launched by the NGO "Aktiv" will result in a report that summarizes and analyzes the participants' allegations in the dialogue and forwards them to decision makers in Belgrade, Pristina and representatives of the international community in Kosovo in the form of recommendations.

The debate was also about the problem of young people leaving Kosovo. According to Mijačić, young people leave Kosovo because there are no long-term opportunities for their progress and development.

"The local elite is partly to blame for not enabling them this. Most of all, I'm more and more sure that the young people are responsible for this, because they do not show agility to be productive and prove they invest their time and energy in convincing somebody that they are worth something"- he says.

Mijačić says that the young people a priori set themselves the goal to get out of here.

"Can they stay here? Of course they can. There are such resources and opportunities here. There are far greater opportunities for individual development here than anywhere else, "- Mijacic believes.

Maksimovic says that life in the ghetto is abnormal. He also reminds that a generation that has never lived a normal life has grown, and that a deep problem, which unfortunately is not recognized, is a lack of a reference value for normality.

"If our reference value is rooted in the place where the young people live, then it's perfectly normal for us to travel with fear from Gračanica to central Serbia and - when we cross Merdare - report to our family by - "We have crossed" - psychological fear. It is perfectly normal that the institutions of the system discriminate and it is not unusual that a Serb gets a different treatment from the institutions. We stopped paying attention to it. The fact that we stopped paying attention and that we stopped fighting for the norm of life that belongs to any living being in the world, affects young people who cannot bear that weight."- explains Maksimovic.

He considers the participation of Serbs in Kosovo institutions schizophrenic, because they are, most often at the same, both participating and boycotting institutions.

"This schizophrenic approach simply affects the ineffectiveness of the Serbs in Kosovo who are simply a marginal, non-essential political factor. I believe that, except for the circle of people who are close to the political structures in the system, the population has not felt any substantial benefits from the participation of Serbs in Kosovo institutions, which is a great damage." - Maksimovic emphasizes.

The partocratic principle and the principle of negative selection, which have become particularly domesticated through their cultivation all these years in Kosovo, have prevented a wider circle of people from taking active part in the political and public life, "- estimates Maksimovic.

"Allow me to be a bit cynical. This cannot exist differently at this moment, and it cannot be different," - said Ljubiša Mijačić, referring to the question of Serb participation in Kosovo institutions.

"If we look at it purely from the aspect of numbers, if the Serbian List was not unique, and if we return to the time of the Povratak coalition where there was a disagreement...  To make it perfectly clear, at the moment, the essential purpose of Serb participation is that the Serbian Government is inside the Government of Kosovo. Now, we can condemn or celebrate this, but whatever viewpoint you choose, at this moment, anything other than this is illogical, that's my opinion."- says Mijačić.

The debate was held at the Mitrovica Social Club. There were also discussions about security, return of displaced people, announcement of the formation of the Kosovo army, and many other current issues.