Ivica Dacic for "Politika" daily: CSM must be formed according to the signed principles

28. Jan 2023.
Pristina politicians persistently refuse to grasp that the Community is not a topic for rhetorical exercises and deliberations, but a clear and unequivocal obligation that they assumed in the dialogue with Belgrade.

"The Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) will be formed with or without Kurti”. These words of the U.S. administration envoy for the Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, show that on the eve of the tenth anniversary of signing the Brussels Agreement, this point, crucial for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, will finally be implemented. Apart from Serbia, this is what the EU and the United States insist on. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that there is a possibility that Albin Kurti will not form the CSM. However, after a recent address to the public, he emphasized that he believed that "this could finally be completed in the coming months", primarily because of the stance of the Americans. In order for a new plan to solve the Kosovo problem to be put on the agenda, it is first necessary to form the CSM and adopt the statute.

In recent months, the lacking cooperation on the part of the prime minister of the provisional institutions in Pristina, Albin Kurti, has been brought to attention. It should be recalled that since the signing of the Brussels Agreement, five governments of Pristina and two presidents of "Kosovo" have been replaced, and the Community has not been formed. Now, through various non-governmental organizations and other underhand tricks, he is trying to create a CSM that would be granted minor competences, that is, that would be without executive powers. This is how a "statute" of the CSM, drawn up by the experts of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation from Berlin, appeared in some media these days. In that document, the CSM has significantly less authority than based on the Brussels Agreement, and it is understandable that President Vucic reacted very negatively to this proposal.

Despite the fact that it was noted, back in the middle of last year, that Belgrade would not take into consideration a document prepared by the legal experts of this foundation, they nevertheless drafted a proposal according to which Serbian municipalities would have slightly wider jurisdiction than prescribed by the existing Kosovo legislation. The very fact that they created this document on their own can be interpreted as another in a series of pressures to accept principles which fail to provide the executive powers prescribed by the Brussels Agreement.

President Vucic has emphasized that the CSM cannot be a non-governmental organization and that it has its 22 principles, which were agreed in Brussels in 2015. He pointed out that these principles include an organizational structure - from the assembly through the president, the organizational council, the board, and the administration...What the Community of Serb Municipalities represents is very clearly written in the 2013 Brussels Agreement, as well as in more detail in the 2015 agreement, the head of Serbian diplomacy, Ivica Dacic, who signed the first Brussels Agreement, told Politika daily. He stated that there was a very wide range of competences that enabled Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija to independently be in charge of all matters of importance for their development and daily life.

"We signed that agreement because it is good for our community in Kosovo and Metohija. It is not perfect, but considering the circumstances in which we negotiated it, it is the maximum we could achieve. These are agreements that put all the levers of governance in the hands of our population – from the economy, development, education and health care, to security and police. Those agreements are the crown of our participation in the EU-facilitated dialogue, which itself has undertaken a commitment that what was signed will be implemented. There has never been a reason not to implement the agreement, other than Pristina's persistent refusal to implement it and the Western mediators' unlimited tolerance for their destructiveness. The CSM remains the main point of all our agreements on Kosovo and Metohija, it must be formed according to the agreed principles, as supported by the signatures of the three parties", Dacic said.

Source: Politika