The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo

TransConflict is pleased to present a new policy paper, entitled ‘The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo, authored by Gerard Gallucci, the former UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica.

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The paper provides a series of detailed recommendations – pertaining to the courts, the police, municipal competences, finance, inter-municipal co-operation, co-operation with Serbia and extended competences for north Mitrovica – that are intended to facilitate implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan in north Kosovo.

After 12 years of frozen conflict over Kosovo, it seems now more than ever that all sides are ready to consider practical solutions to practical problems.  In the last few months, it has become clear that finding such practical accommodations for northern Kosovo is especially timely.  The local Kosovo Serbs have prevented, through peaceful means, what they saw as a one-sided effort to impose Kosovo institutions north of the Ibar River.  The international peacekeepers have reached the limits of their ability to project political solutions that do not have the support of the local communities in the north.”

There is, however, also a strong political imperative supported by both Belgrade and Pristina to treat Kosovo as a whole even as differences over Kosovo status remain.  Some are now talking about how the Ahtisaari Plan might be implemented in the north.  The Plan offers a detailed framework for achieving, in the north, local autonomy within a continued relationship to Serbia while maintaining the territorial and political integrity of Kosovo.  It may therefore be a good time for all parties – Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs, Pristina and Belgrade and the internationals including the EU and the Contact Group – to consider how the Ahtisaari Plan might be actually implemented in the north.

TransConflict approaches this effort with an understanding that nothing positive can emerge as long as the two sides continue to see the situation in zero-sum terms, that for them to win, the other side must lose.  Rather, to avoid further conflict and open the door to focusing on achieving economic progress, each side must be willing to compromise and consider outcomes that recognize the fundamental interests of the other side, as well as their own.  Simply put, these are:

  • for the northern Serbs, to be allowed to live in their own communities without political interference in local matters from Kosovo central institutions and with continued linkages to Serbia.
  • for the Kosovo Albanians that the north remain part of Kosovo and function in significant ways as part of the Kosovo political system.

In the current context, any compromise approach would need to leave aside the question of the status of Kosovo and – for the purposes of any agreement over the north – the status of any Kosovo institutions in which the northern Serbs might participate.

This policy paper seeks to look at how the Ahtisaari Plan might be implemented within this context.

55 Responses

  1. Pingback : The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo – TransConflict | Angola news

  2. Perunova straža

    I’m sure that military and police of Republic of Serbia would be more than willing to implement this plan, as soon as they return to the Kosovo and Metohia, southern province of Serbia.
    It’s very good that plan proposes maintaining the territorial and political integrity of Kosovo and Metohia and in turn also proposes maintaining the territorial and political integrity of Republic of Serbia – because that means to be neutral about the status.

  3. Betty

    This couldn’t have been written by Gallucci, it’s too pro-Albanian. There’s no way that the Serbians can survive under such circumstances in Kosovo under Albanian rule, as the measures offered can easily be taken away at a later date.

  4. The plan seems fair enough since it states that every ethnic group living in the area of Kosovo will get their participation in education, health care as well as police, the court of law, self- ruling or self governance etc. sure there are topics that are not covered and that need to be prepared and properly implemented, but it’s a start never the less. The worst we can do is do nothing , but the fact is that all three sides need to be willing to talk to each other Serbs, Albanians and EU institutions present , and this seems like a solid frame work for a beginning and for the time being.

  5. so-call northern Kosovo, municipalities (opstina) populated only by ethnic Serbs- Zvecan, Zubin Potok, Ljeposavic and part of Motrovica – should become part of Serbia, not of any Kosova state, on the same right as Albanians (Shqiptars) have the right to live in their ethnic country as Kosova.
    THIS IS THE ONLY CORECT, FAIR AND SIMPLE SOLUTION!

  6. The Plan offers a detailed framework for achieving, in the north, local autonomy within a continued relationship to Serbia while maintaining the territorial and political integrity of Kosovo.

    So, Serbia is totally divisible??? and Kosovo totally undivisible???
    who have the right to establish such a borders???

    The fight for Kosova independence is stronglyu based only on the ethnic rights of Albanians, so they won this right, but have nothing to do with the Serbian homogenous teritories without any willing to separate from Serbia.

    Absolutly same right have the Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia to united with Serbia or have their independent countries,

    as well Romanians Vlachs to have their autonomy in eastern Serbia, same as other ethnic groups in the Serbia and other countries.

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  14. Alex

    Dear Randy, who called the Albanians (Shiptars) was a Romanian and not a Serb. Anyhow calling Albanians from Kosovo Shiptar cannot be an offence to them since is the name of the Albanians in their own language. Of course Serbs are not in love with the Albos and so when we call them Šiptari, or Albanians, for us it is always with a negative connotation, of course, our feelings are not positive thinking they took away 30% of our territory and ethnically cleansed Kosovo from Serbs, with the US and EU support. And please do not answer me that is the fault of Milosevic, etc, we HAD ENOUGH! OK. HAPPY XMAS and PEACE and LOVE!

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  30. Nik

    the best solution is to give Kosovo North a special status form of autonomy and the right to a referendum on whether they want to remain a part of Kosovo or join Serbia in 5 years. This is the solution the European Community imposed on Serbia with Montenegro, and also what they kept on talkinga bout during the 1999 war with Kosovo. Why they can’t impose such a solution on Kosovo is beyond me.

    First, this would actually force Kosovo’s Albanians to try and integrate the North and actually offer Serbs real autonomy and advantages to stay in Kosovo. Secondly, it would give Serbs the right to seperate and join Serbia after five years time which is clearly what the majority of the population wants.

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