Kosovo – can everything “agreed” get done this month?

Following the Belgrade-Pristina April accords, the parties agreed to an implementation plan which remains just an outline with important details still to be determined. It seems that the Quint expect Belgrade to impose more of a political agenda upon the northerners, but what if it can’t and the northern Kosovo Serbs simply refuse to play along on the EU’s schedule?

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Conflict Background

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By Gerard M. Gallucci

In April, Belgrade and Pristina accepted a 15-point accord on north Kosovo with important details to be determined. Defining these details in a way that might ease acceptance by the Kosovo Serb majority living in the north remains key to peaceful change. Since April, Belgrade and Pristina have been meeting to develop an implementation plan while the Serbian government has been meeting with north Kosovo leaders, in a somewhat iterative process, to try to mesh those details with what could work on the ground. The northerners have not yet accepted implementation but have been careful to hold back public comment. Acting under continued EU pressure – including visits by the German and British foreign ministers – Belgrade now has reportedly agreed to a plan whose first deadlines have passed.

The Plan sets a multi-month timeline for actions that would transform Serbian security and justice structures in the north into ones operating under Kosovo law and budget by year end.

  • By May 31, a new “acting” regional police commander for the north was to be appointed and working groups formed on integrating the police and courts into the Kosovo system and for establishing the association of Serb municipalities. Belgrade was also to have provided a “detailed overview of all funding” of its institutions in Kosovo.
  • By mid-June, Pristina will have enacted an amnesty law while Serbia would “commence” the dismantling of its security structures and ending payments to its security personnel in Kosovo. Pristina would begin making available positions in its police. The same would begin for the courts. Meanwhile, discussions would have started on holding municipal elections – under the OSCE – in October.
  • By mid-July, “all premises of Serbian security structures in Kosovo will be closed.” By year end, members of these structures would be “fully integrated” into the Kosovo structures and paid “exclusively” from the Kosovo budget. Same with the courts.

The working group for the association would have representatives from the four northern municipalities as “endorsed” by the “competent Kosovo authority.” The implementation plan also pledges the two sides to “fully implement” previous agreements including customs and freedom of movement. There was no apparent mention of economic and property issues, coordinated returns, Trepca North or the borders of North Mitrovica.

The Quint – led as always by Brussels, Washington and Berlin – continue to push Serbia into a breakneck pace of change using the leverage of a June 27th deadline for approving a date for the start of EU accession talks. The German government says it now favors granting the date but the German parliament reportedly still has doubts and believes the Serbs in Mitrovica should dismantle their barricade of the main Ibar Bridge to show they have accepted the deal. The Germans seem intent on forcing the north Kosovo Serbs to offer outright surrender in order to get the date. Or perhaps they still are looking for a way to keep Serbia out of the EU. Hopefully, the other Quint members are considering the impact in Serbia and the Balkans if, after all Belgrade has tried to do, Serbia does not get a date this month.

The northern Kosovo Serbs themselves appear to be thinking about declaring regional autonomy. It would be surprising if everything works out according to the implementation plan, which remains just an outline with important details still to be agreed. Indeed, it seems more a political agenda that the Quint expects Belgrade to impose upon the northerners as NATO couldn’t. And if it can’t, if the northern Kosovo Serbs simply refuse to play along on the EU’s schedule?

Gerard M. Gallucci is a retired US diplomat and UN peacekeeper. He worked as part of US efforts to resolve the conflicts in Angola, South Africa and Sudan and as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. He served as UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica, Kosovo from July 2005 until October 2008 and as Chief of Staff for the UN mission in East Timor from November 2008 until June 2010.

To read TransConflict’s policy paper, entitled ‘The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo’, please click here.

To read other articles by Gerard for TransConflict, please click here. If you are interested in responding to this article, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

To learn more about both Serbia and Kosovo, please check out TransConflict’s reading lists series by clicking here.

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40 Responses

  1. Fadil

    “And if it can’t, if the northern Kosovo Serbs simply refuse to play along on the EU’s schedule?”

    They can, of course, but the question is whether they can survive if Belgrade does what agreed to do – cut the funding of its illegal structures in Kosovo.

    According to many Serbian economists, Serbia is close to bankruptcy and the EU is the way of avoiding such scenario. The EU, in other side, can’t do everything for salvaging Serbia if Serbia works against the EU schedule.

    This is very clear logic. So the northerner may choose to hit the wall by their heads but everyone knows – the heads will suffer, not the wall.

  2. PEN

    Despite your wishful thinking you poor deluded hypocrite Serbia is nowhere near bankruptcy. Unlike that clan infested shambles you call home. It wasn’t enough that the Albanians spent decades leaching off the body of Yugoslavia. The parasitic mind-set continues with your gullible western sponsors. That is until they get sick of you like everybody else.
    I wouldn’t rub my hands with triumphant glee yet if I were you little fadil. You and your thug ‘police’ won’t be strolling the streets of northern Kosovo any time soon, irrespective of what happens in Belgrade Berlin or anywhere else. You can be assured of that.

    1. Fadil

      Liitle PEN, everything you say against Kosovo and Albanians, fits perfectly for Serbia. Just look what another, relevant person, says. No less than the most trusted person in Serbia – vice premier of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. He said: “time has come for Serbia TO PAY BILLS for Kosovo, CORRUPTION and easy life without production.”. So I don’t need to add anything more. Mr. Vucic gave perfect response for your dreams, wishful thinking and your extreme hatred and chauvinism.

      http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2013&mm=06&dd=05&nav_category=11&nav_id=720064

  3. Fadil

    Poor PEN, against your rubbish, AS ALWAYS, i give RELEVANT facts. Just take a look at the newest one, Serbian professor, Pavle Petrovic, who is also president of fiscal council in Serbia telling to public about Serbia toward bankruptcy. I really don’t know how do you feel loosing so many battles in your lies and hatred.

    http://www.b92.net/video/videos.php?nav_category=900&yyyy=2013&mm=05&dd=28&nav_id=717841

    As for Kosovo police in the north of Kosovo – it is already there. They have uniforms of Republic of Kosovo and will continue to do so.

  4. David Mclean

    Once again I see no change in 5 years People of the north have rights and once again no one wants to communicate with the northern Serbs. Kosovo has freedom of movement both police and politicians I have not seen any of the Kosovo Albanian trying to make any edge way to have talks with there opposites . It takes time and planning and good communication from local police authority to gain trust . In my time i was able to remove all baracades from the bridges and all military from the north and only local police in the area . It easy to point the finger at International Institutions , for not doing anything. Kosovo Authority have to cross this bridge by good communication and introducing everything at a slower time scale. People just want action without thinking of why are we here . Slow down and talk to the correct people and also employee the correct peolpe who have an open view to both side not just the south Former Regional Police Commander 2007 / 2009 David

  5. PEN

    Oh dear fadil. Your English vocab is so limited you fall over yourself plagiarising ever other word I post. You really are a boor. But I suppose it’s indicative of your limited intellect. Upper case adjectives in a pathetic attempt to emphasise your weak arguments. Cherry-picking the internet to suit your narrow agenda. I hope your Albanian ‘prose’ is a bit more intelligent. Although I doubt it. You strike me as an angry little man who takes everything personally. A one man crusade, on a mission to defend the indefensible; the black hole of Europe otherwise known as Albanian ‘administered’ Kosovo and Metohija. LOL.

  6. Fadil

    We are not competing here about English but about FACTS. As usually, you give nothing to public. Just rubbish things without a single evidence. Saying something without single evidence, as you always do, is like writing in water. So regardless of your perfect English, you, in fact, just write in water.

    I urge you or I suggest you watching the video of Mr. Vucic. It may help you a bit living in real world.

    Actually there is no debate with you. Arguments i give here would serve to other people and see the real picture. People like you just make me recalling how fortunate I am, and two million Albanians in Kosovo as well.

    As Mr Vucic (former hardliner and extreme Serbian nationalist) says the time has come for Serbia to pay the bills. I know, it hurts to much for hardliners and extremists like you with immense hatred against Albanians. As I said in many occasions, no cure for you.

    1. Fadil

      @Brian,

      Serbs have a saying “sve ili nista” (eng: everything or nothing). This applies perfectly to Kosovo northern Serbs who excluded themselves from the talks.

  7. PEN

    You wouldn’t know a fact faddy my boy if it ran over you like a bus. I refer to the ‘two million Albanians in Kosovo’ statement you’ve just made. There are actually 1.7 million people in Kosovo according to the UN. Naturally not all are Albanians. Though it’s not for want of trying on the part of your countrymen I hasten to add. Just another example of being liberal with the facts eh? Inflating your numbers is a tried and tested method. Avoiding a meaningful census was another. Just like the hundreds of thousands of dead bandied about during the war eh faddy. You really are a miserable specimen if all you can muster is ‘extremist’ and ‘nationalist’ every time you dislike an opinion. I can well imagine what it would be like for dissenters in your ‘country’. One could pick your arguments apart with ease, and without cherry-picking B92 for that matter. Your entity is held together by powerful patrons for their own motives. There’s nothing just about its inception by a long chalk. Before long Mr Gallucci will post another piece. You can make a fool of yourself all over again. I can hardly wait!

  8. Fadil

    PEN,

    You are showing your functional illiteracy not being able to make distinction of resident Albanians in Kosovo with Kosovo citizens who work abroad. Even by Serbia’s census on 1991, there were more than 1.6 million of Albanians in Kosovo. Taking into account high birth rate of 40,000, or more, annually, minus deaths of some 10,000, 20 years latter there should be more than 2 million Albanians from Kosovo either as Kosovo residents or with Kosovo citizenship and working abroad. So I am not inflating anything but this seems to be impression of sick minded people.

    Its not a matter whether I agree with you in something or not. Its a matter of your constant insults and degradation of whole people of Kosovo. Your megalomania is disastrous.

    I am giving to public not the news from B92 but relevant facts, in case these facts do not present populist propaganda. When vice premier of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, says that the time has come to pay bills for Kosovo, this is not populist propaganda but admitting of truth as Mr. Vucic was directly responsible for what happened in Kosovo during 1990s. Just to recall that Mr. Vucic was in power during Milosevic’s era, as minister of information, and behaved like officials in North Korea today. He fined some media in Serbia with very high amount of money because of not following state propaganda. As a former radical and extreme Serbian nationalist, Mr Vucic changed his views dramatically.

    Mr. Vucic changed his views but not people like you and you get angry when I call you as an extremist. You are more than that. You are a miserable megalomaniac, lost in space and time.

  9. PEN

    The English dictionary defines a megalomaniac as someone who is characterized by delusions of grandeur, power, and wealth. What on earth that has to do with me is anybody’s guess. Whether I’m lost in space or time is an amusing concept too, worthy of Star Trek.
    The comments I make about the state of affairs in Kosovo are backed up by hard facts not cherry-picked from interviews on B92 or obscure events from 1912. Assessments from international security services, OSCE, the UN, the Council of Europe, Amnesty International and the EU. This has nothing to do with the abused people of Kosovo, Albanian or Serb. You’re unable intellectually to differentiate between the two issues. You repeatedly defend the Kosovo government which is rotten to the core. I repeat, you take every observation personally, plagiarise my words, and are an aggressive hypocrite. Whenever you post your offensive diatribes against me or anybody else you insult, I’ll be onto you like a rash.

    1. Fadil

      You are megalomaniac since you, apparently, feel powerful undermining Albanians. Nothing special for people like you. This is all of your “intellectual capacity”. What does it mean at all mentioning UN, OSCE, the UN, the EU?? Which of these organization do regard Kosovo as worst place than Serbia?? None of them. There is no country in Europe to have committed crime and genocide to the others than Serbia. How many times I gave you relevant evidence for organized crime and corruption in Serbia??

      Were you able giving CONCRETE cases for Kosovo as I gave for corruption and crime in Serbia? Do you know about Kollubara, Agrobanka, “patriotic stealing” etc. Billions of euros stolen from corrupted people in Serbia.

      Do you know for Darko Saric and trafficking of tonnes of cocaine? Do you know about Saric’s money laundering of billions of euros through 300 Serbian firms?? Do you know Miroslav Miskovic and why he is imprisoned?? Of course just few of thousands of other cases of crime and corruption in Serbia.

      You should understand, once for all, that your good English grammar doesn’t make you smarter. You are lost in time and space as Mrs. Latinka Perovic suggests for people like you. She said that, unfortunately, Serbs do not understand the time we live and she fears that one day Serbs will simply disappear. With “intellectuals” like you such process shall be accelerated. It will be your fault, for sure.

  10. PEN

    The only people undermining the Albanians, are the Albanians themselves. Your attitude is a classic example of that denial. This has absolutely nothing to do with comparing Kosovo to Serbia. And that has been your failing from the outset. Any critiscism is percieved as a personnal slight. And therefore must be defended at all costs. Irrespective of whether it’s right or not. Until you have the maturity to address your weaknesses without resorting to bland comparisons and insults, you will never be a responsible democracy respecting minority rights and the rule of law. And that’s what ‘intellectuals’ like me believe in.

  11. Fadil

    You PEN just remind me how lucky is Albanian population in Kosovo. I said you try to undermine Albanians but you failed and you will fail but it shows your megalomaniac attitude. Your behavior is like that of prostitute, who blames other women for having two partners for instance. There has to be a lot with Serbia. Its is saying “clean your garden before looking at the neighbor’s garden”.

    Criticism is very healthy but you are not criticizing at all. All you know is insulting and vituperation regarding Kosovo and majority of population there.

    Nevertheless, there should not be arguing with you. I have debated with many Serbs, including very nationalist ones, having few thousands of posts in Serbian forums but never found extremists and chauvinist like you. What I know is that people like you, in such forums, would be hardly attacked, as happened with some like you, by Serbs themselves.

    I urge you reading forums at B92 and Blic and you can verify what I am speaking about. So I am happy that people like you, with no sense of reality, remain alone and the best is leaving them in their miserable world.

  12. PEN

    Vituperation! Spiteful, Moi? Wow, that’s a big word for you faddy mate. Where did you find that one. Wikipedia? Cherry-picking the internet again. I warned you about that before sunshine. But no, I’m impressed. I’ll have to credit you with more brains than I thought. So you’re not merely a rabid Albanian nationalist.
    No you see, I know your problem. I get under your skin. You can’t stand it. You paint yourself as the defender of the Albanian cause. Debating with fictitious moderate ‘Serbs’ on all those websites like B92. I’ve seen how you engage on other forums like the Economist. The same intemperate childish rants as on here. LOL. You couldn’t engage a parrot without hurling insults.

  13. Fadil

    PEN, indeed you give me a joy. Fortunately, thanks to great God, you can just write rubbish here and nobody relevant takes into account your rubbish. Your vituperation (harshly abusive language) has no bounds. An intellectual person could be treated one with analytic skills – presenting facts, relevant ones, comparing and finally getting into conclusion. Nothing of that happens with miserable people like you.

    A megalomaniac person could be considered one who believes that belongs to superior group of people but I really don’t know what kind of “superiority” you could present??!! You know the phrase “nebeski narod” (heavenly people)!!!

    All you know is harshly abusive language, blaming the others for everything you don’t like and expressing your immense hatred to all of them, Albanians in particular.

    Nevertheless, who cares at all what miserable people write and think. Kosovo and its leaders have very clear path – transatlantic integration. It means being part of NATO and the EU. It means having European values and not Asiatic ones. It also means that Kosovo is in the way of implementing high standards of democracy and respecting of minorities. As an example is Serbian minority and offering of rights never seen in any place in the world for such a small group.

  14. PEN

    I’m curious to know who exactly you represent other than yourself, given that you seem to think that ‘nobody relevant takes into account your rubbish.’ How arrogant. Who do you speak for. Are you aware of everybody elses thoughts and opinions? No, exactly. You don’t represent anybody do you. And how do you decide who’s relevant and who isn’t. I’m also curious that if I give you so much joy, why you appear so angry and frustrated constantly farting away with gay abandon. What does ‘heavenly people’ ‘megalomania’ and ‘vituporation’ have to do with anything? Oh dear. By the way I have met decent, educated, polite Albanians before, and they’re nothing like you. I mean seething with bile and hatred. No I think this is a character issue that I’ll leave you and your psychiatrist (do they have them in Pristina?) to wrestle with. A classic case of an inferiority complex judging by your shrill tone. I find these exchanges increasingly sureal and tedious. It’s like arguing with a petulant brat who insists on having the last word. They have proved one important thing though, and that is that your credibility is well and truly shot to pieces.

  15. Fadil

    PEN, you as “intellectual” person, and a Serb, should know who regards themselves as “heavenly people”- that is some Serbs. Relevant people are those who make decisions, if you didn’t know. And decisions are made. Regarding Kosovo – became independent state and that northern Kosovo remains part of Republic of Kosovo with some special rights.

    I do represent myself but, unfortunately for you, seem like everything I said in previous months/years became reality.

    I am not angry at all. People like you, Gallucci and others alike are defeated hardly so why should I get angry at all??? Your propaganda was and is with zero effect.

    As for your accusations against me – still the same rubbish, common for you. I speak perfectly Serbian language (many Serbs said to me so) and I communicate even today, 14 years after liberation of Kosovo, in Serbian with my Serbian colleagues. I do that because I want to show them that the state of Kosovo is theirs as well. I don’t oppose giving them special rights, as it happened already, but no more as there are many similar groups which have much less rights, Albanians in southern Serbia in particular. So what kind of hatred you do see here?? Of course, I told you already, you are lost in space and time. Of course if you know at all what logic is.

    As for visiting psychiatric clinic I think that those living mentally in the 15th, you for instance, should go and make an appointment urgently.

    As for credibility, as I already said, TIME tells us who is right. Time told us you were wrong. Your extreme nationalism and chauvinism is defeated. Serbia has to pay bills for what has done in the past. I know it hurts but no cure for you PEN. You will suffer today and in the future. Its not my fault. You asked for it.

  16. PEN

    The reality of Kosovo is that it has a decidedly bleak future indeed. And if your attitude and mind-set is representative of the population at large, than God help you. If I’ve learnt anything by this depressing evidence it’s that left to your own devices, you’re thoroughly incapable of running your own affairs. That much is certain.

  17. Fadil

    PEN, who cares at all about your opinion on Kosovo’s future. Your words are simply written in water in regard to the future of Kosovo and its development. Kosovo has very bright future. Even in the world crisis, Kosovo achieved great success and had economic growth.

    Kosovo and its leaders have very clear picture for the future and that is NATO and the EU integration or implementing European values. If some others want Asiatic values, being Russian colony, its their problem.

    Actually, arguing with you is just wasting of time. There is better option, leaving you in your miserable world, full of hatred. As high ranked Serbian intellectual, Mrs. Latinka Perovic said “those who don’t understand the time we live, may simply disappear in near future”. With people like you, Serbian people may have such fate.

    This is the end of arguing with you. If you have anything smart to say you can reply in my comments, but only related to the topic. In other circumstances there is better option – ignoring you.

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