15. March. 2021. | 12:51


In accordance with the Agreement on the Finalization of the Implementation of the Agreement on Freedom of Movement from 2011 and signed by Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade in Brussels on the 14th of September 2016, Kosovo is obligated to extend the validity of ‘KS’ registration plates for a period of five years. That same agreement requires the signatories to re-consider this issue after the 14th of September 2021, under the supervision and mediation of the European Union.

Despite clearly defined obligations stemming from the Agreement, the Kosovo Interior Ministry nevertheless announced in mid-September that:

“In accordance with the procedure for extending vehicle registration(s) and based on Decision No. 012/2020 for setting tariffs issued on 10.01.2020, all owners of vehicles that use KS registration are hereby obligated, upon their expiration, to exchange KS with RKS registration.”

This new procedure constitutes a direct violation of treaty commitments and threatens drivers’ rights to obtain or extend registration plates with a ‘KS’ designation. Kosovo Serbs, as a community for whom the possession of ‘KS’ registration plates is of great importance, have seen their right to freedom of movement restricted by this decision, particularly due to their connection with central Serbia. For the same or comparable reasons, Kosovo Albanians and other communities will see their movement between Kosovo and Serbia similarly compromised.

This decision is problematic because it was made in the absence of consultation with the wider community or professionals, thereby leaving owners of KS registration with a fait accompli. Moreover, the lack of a timely reaction on the part of intermediaries (in this case the European Union) that could have otherwise benefited those affected by the decision, as well as Belgrade’s passivity regarding this unilateral action, contributed to the fact that this problem has been left by the wayside.

In light of the renewal and subsequent continuation of talks between Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade, it is of utmost importance that already agreed upon principles are upheld by both parties. In practice, this would mean that the Interior Ministry should rescind the above-mentioned decision and coordinate any changes to the existing arrangement with Brussels and Belgrade, as is required by the agreement itself. Vehicle owners who are in possession of KS registration plates are directly discriminated against by the Ministry’s decision and do not have access to mechanisms and/or the right to appeal.

Members of the Empirika Platform ask that:

  • The Ministry of Interior Affairs of Kosovo rescind the decision on exchanging registration plates until the end of the period of validity of the Agreement from Brussels (14th of September 2021);
  • The European Union, as the principle arbitrator in the implementation of the agreements, mediate changes to the decision on exchanging registration plates;
  • The European Union prepare an agenda and conditions for a meeting between Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade so that the two parties can reach an agreement on the nature and content of changes/continuation of arrangements vis-à-vis KS registration plates;
  • Belgrade react publicly to a violation on the agreement made in Brussels and to involve itself more actively in the reaching of a comprise agreement that would prove satisfactory to current (and future) owners of KS registration plates.

Empirika Members: Aktiv, Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture (ACDC), Center for the Rights of Minority Communities, EMEG, Forum for Development and Multi-ethnic Cooperation (FDMC), Gračanica online, Humani Centar Mitrovica, Communication for Social Development (CSD), Media Center, New Press, Radio Kontakt Plus, RTV Kim, RTV Mir and Sinergija.