CSM Won’t Have Executive Power

Kosovo’s coordinator for the Pristina – Belgrade dialogue on the normalization of relations Skender Hiseni said on Tuesday (20.10) that no provision of Kosovo’s Constitution would be changed in “any version of a final agreement on mutual recognition”.

He told that he disagreed with Miroslav Lajčák, the European Union special envoy for the dialogue who said in Belgrade that a constitution “isn’t the Bible”. Lajčak seemingly referred to Serbia’s highest legal act as well, since its preamble described Kosovo as a part of Serbia. 

“I don’t know what Lajčák talked about; he should be asked. Anyhow, Kosovo’s constitutional order won’t change”, Hiseni said. 

He added that the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue “about certain elements of the final agreement” would resume soon. 

The last meeting at the level of experts was held in Brussels on September 17, when the two delegations discussed mutual financial claims and property. 

Pristina has said that a part of the 2013 Brussels agreement with Belgrade regarding the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) should not be an issue any more and would be implemented after the deal on mutual recognition, giving the Community no executive powers. 

On the other hand, Belgrade maintains the CSM must be formed as agreed seven years ago before any other agreements. 

In the meantime, Kosovo’s Parliament’s former deputy speaker, Petar Miletic, a local Serb, said on Tuesday that CSM would not be formed because Pristina did not want it and because Belgrade did not show interest in the issue in the last six and a half years. 

He recalled that the first six out of 15 points of the First Brussels Agreement envisaged the CSM. 

“That means that the creation of the CSM is an essence of the agreement signed on April 19, 2013. The then Serbia’s and Kosovo’s prime ministers Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci respectively agreed with the then EU diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton who mediated the dialogue to form the CSM after the November elections that year”, Miletic said. However, he added, the fact the Community had not been formed yet meant “there are no innocent sides.” 

Avdulah Hoti, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, reiterated on October 21, that the CSM would not have any executive power, adding Pristina’s Parliament violated the Constitution when ratified the Community-related agreement with Belgrade in 2013. 

“This issue won’t be opened again, but an obligation is there. If an agreement is reached, it must not jeopardize Kosovo’s unitary character. There won’t be any CSM with executive powers”, Hoti stressed. 

He added he would not yield to pressures but would respect the Parliament’s decisions and Kosovo’s Constitution. 

“We have clear principles in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalization of relations. I judge that such a decision on CSM is inappropriate at this moment. I don’t expect the Community to block the dialogue because there is consent the issue was finalized. If the dialogue is blocked, that won’t be our fault since I believe we have shown a significant engagement in the process”, Hoti said. 

On the other hand, Belgrade is against Pristina’s decision to implement the CSM after a comprehensive and legally binding agreement is reached, saying that it has been agreed on seven years ago and should have already been in place. 

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