11. February. 2018. | 12:59

MSC: Kosovo - ten years later

Mitrovica Social Club participants think that life in Kosovo is not better today compared to 2008 when Kosovo declared independence. “Albanians today live in reality. Nothing changed since 2008, unemployment is still at 35 percent, gross domestic product is not increasing, there is no qualitative administration”, says Shpetim Gashi from the Council for Inclusive Governance.

There were no changes in north in 2008. Things in the north started to change after the Brussels Agreement, this is the time when people started understanding the reality.

Journalist Željko Tvrdišić considers that changes in northern Kosovo began in 2013, after the Brussels Agreement was signed, however, he believes that the quality of life of citizens even worsened.

“Problems in the past years are high levels of unemployment and poverty. I don’t see a way to resolve this quickly. It will require plenty of time”, says Tvrdišić.

Talking about relations between Serbs and Albanians in 2018, Shpetim Gashi says that relations are better, adding that reconciliation is a process which requires time.

“I think Serbs and Albanians have to agree, and Albanians must find a way for Kosovo to become a state for Serbs as well”, says Gashi.

“Serbs and Albanians cooperate when it is in their interest”, considers Tvrdišić, pointing out the problem of emigration of Serbs in last ten years.

“There are less and less Serbs in urban areas. I am not sure if there are more Serbs in Pristina compared to 2008, I don’t believe there are more of them in Prizren compared to earlier. And this is the problem, there are less Serbs in Kosovo” says Tvrdišić.

Talking about the Brussels process, which was initiated five years ago, panelists agreed that integration of the north into Kosovan society is unsustainable in the manner it is currently implemented.

“I think this integration, in the manner it was implemented until now, is unsustainable. We had elections and mayors, but there is no administration which could function normally”, says Gashi.

Mitrovica Social Club participants spoke also about the beginning of the work of the Special Court for Kosovo Liberation Army crimes, as well as expectations in relation to brokering of the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina in European integration process of Serbia. Although they are not optimistic that quality of life for people in Kosovo will improve in next years, they expect that in future periods there are not going to be any bigger tensions between communities.