Kosovo’s Uneasy Community Governance in 2016 and how to Renew the Community Agenda during 2017

Kosovo’s Uneasy Community Governance in 2016 and how to Renew the Community Agenda during 2017

In a difficult and often challenging year for the Government and for Kosovo society in general, a number of political developments have cast shadows over the long-term stability of the governing coalition composed of PDK, LDK, and Srpska lista. Internal disagreements over major issues such as the newly-adopted Law on Trepça/Trepča or the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities have put a strain on the work of the government endangering its majority in parliament. At the same time, the agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro turned into a major political issue with the opposition staging a number of strong protests inside and outside parliament; Srpska lista chose to boycott the vote, leading to a deadlock and complicating relations within the government even further.

Notwithstanding these challenges, there were a number of positive developments in Kosovo as well. The Government of Kosovo continued to invest significant sums of money in the four northern municipalities through direct budgetary support and the Development Fund for the North. President Thaçi’s visits to the memorials of Kosovo Serb civilian victims of the Kosovo War in Gračanica/Graçanicë and Pejë/Peć, represented an important step as leaders increase their efforts to reach out to all civilian victims of the war; the Government’s decision to begin verifying diplomas from graduates of the University of Mitrovica North provides them with an opportunity to seek public employment within Kosovo institutions, yielding immediate positive results in increasing opportunities for employment for minority communities. Finally, in line with the Brussels agreement on the judiciary, the integration of the judiciary system previously run by Serbia in northern Kosovo to the Kosovo-run judiciary system is progressing, albeit at a deliberate rate.

This issue of the Kosovo Communities Issues Monitor provides a detailed overview of some of the main developments during 2016 and provides concrete recommendations on how to renew and re-energize the community agenda during 2017 in line with existing agreements and the legal framework in Kosovo, chief among them are postponing or rapidly dealing with the issue of border demarcation, which has poisoned and complicated all other developments in 2016, and then moving swiftly with the challenging agenda for communities, which includes dealing with the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities as well as a host of other issues discussed in this report.

Click here for the full Kosovo Communities Issues Monitor in  Albanian, Serbian  and English .
 
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