EU: CSM Won’t Be Parallel Authority Vs. Belgrade: No CSM – No Progress in Dialogue

The European Union said on Tuesday (27.10) the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) “won’t be a parallel authority (in Kosovo), nor will it pass its laws, as former EU High Representative Federica Mogherini had already said”. 

The Belgrade Beta news agency asked Peter Stano, a spokesperson for Mogherini’s successor Joseph Borrell, to clarify what was in a letter that Mogherini sent only to Pristina and not to Belgrade in August 2015.  

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has recently shown the letter to the EU special envoy for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalization of relations Miroslav Lajčák. 

Lajčák did not want to comment, deny, or confirm the letter.  

Later, the head of Serbia’s Government Office for Kosovo Petar Petkovic said Belgrade would insist on the implementation of all signed agreements, including the formation of the CSM, “which should have been formed seven and a half years ago”. 

“Without the constitution of the CSM with all jurisdictions envisaged by the Brussels agreement, there are no possibilities for a progress in the dialogue”, he said during the meeting with Simon Geissbühler, Head of the Human Security Division of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, and Urs Schmid, the Swiss ambassador to Serbia. 

Petkovic added that Belgrade, despite everything, remained committed to the dialogue as the only possible mean for a peaceful solution of disputes and creation of pre-conditions for the economic growth and stability in the Western Balkans. 

But Stano told Beta that “we will like to address you to the former EU High Representative Mogherini’s statement before Kosovo’s deputies on May 6, 2016, when she clearly explained the EU stand – the Community with a Serb majority won’t be a parallel authority within Kosovo and will not bring own laws”, Stano told Beta. 

Mogherini then also said, Stano recalled, the CSM “will be established within the framework of Kosovo’s laws, will follow the Constitutional Court recent opinion as a guideline for the CSM statute, and when it’s drafted, it will guarantee that Community will reflect Kosovo’s legislative”. 

Such CSM would, as Mogherini added then, “enable the Serb community to be fully integrated into the society.” 

Some Belgrade officials described the statement as ‘a stab in the back’ and questioned confidence in the EU as the mediator in the dialogue. 

Beta asked Mogherini to say why the letter was kept secret for Serbia’s authorities which believed that the CSM would have executive powers, but she did not answer. 

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