Agreements not to agree between Prishtina and Belgrade

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Agreements not to agree between Prishtina and Belgrade

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In “TEMA”, moderated by Faik Ispahiu, Prishtina and Belgrade chief negotiators, Edita Tahiri and Marko Djuric, speak on the recognition of diplomas issued in respective countries, justice, telecom, cadastre, Association of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo and integration of the Serbian “Civil Protection” in Kosovo institutions.

The agreement on mutual recognition of diplomas was reached in 2012, and so far 362 diplomas from Kosovo and 13 diplomas from Serbia underwent nostrification.

Edita Tahiri, Kosovo chief negotiator, said that discussions on a possible solution were waged between Ministry of Education and European Union officials, but, to date, there are no positive developments.

Tahiri said that their education can’t be neglected.

“What we can’t accept is the fact that their diplomas currently hold logos of Serbia,” Tahiri said.

On the other hand, her Serbian counterpart Marko Djuric said that this is the responsibility of the state of Kosovo.

“A person that was educated in the state university of Mitrovica will face problems in employment in the administration of Kosovo-controlled institutions,” Djuric said.

Tahiri said that the Serbian party has nothing to do with the University of Mitrovica North, as, according to her, this is an institution of the state of Kosovo.

“University of Mitrovica is not subject to the agreement reached in Brussels. Serbia tried to make this subject of our discussions, but we rejected it,” Tahiri says.

She further explained how this process is conducted through the Association of European Universities and “how this issue is regulated through international mechanisms that certify these diplomas.”

For his part, Djuric says that a non-discriminatory solution needs to be found for this issue.

“12000 students in Mitrovica need to enjoy non-discriminatory, free employment in all institutions in both sides of the administrative boundary,” Djuric said.

On the other side, Tahiri said that there are 300 nostrification cases not recognized by Serbia.

As to the justice system, the agreement on integration of northern courts into Kosovo institutions was still not signed, as parties failed to reach an agreement on certain details.

However, Tahiri said that this agreement can be reached as early as next March. She said that it was Serbia’s justifications that did not allow this meeting to be as productive as it should and the agreement to be reached. Djuric blames Prishtina for the same.

“At the moment, Prishtina institutions are not opening their doors to the implementation of legal provisions stipulating municipalities’ rights to establish new organizational units,” said Djuric.
He said that the special agreement on the judiciary envisaged that by 1 September in Serb-majority municipalities new judicial bodies will be established, and they have representation proportional to the number of Serb inhabitants and Serb judges and prosecutors, but it was not implemented.

Tahiri said that this agreement envisaged a basic court for seven municipalities and a prosecutor’s office, all under the unique Kosovo state system.

According to Djuric, Kosovar party complicated this process by politicizing it.

“They insisted for the number of judicial organizational units to be established in Serb-majority municipalities to be as small as possible,” Djuric said.

Agreement on the Telecom

This agreement was signed with Kosovo on 8 September 2013, and it grants Kosovo the right to have a state telephony code for non-members of the International Telecommunications Union, but this agreement is not implemented yet.

Edita Tahiri had said for “Jeta në Kosovë” that Serbia had placed numerous obstacles regarding the code.

She also made a promise she did not keep. “By autumn we will have the code,” Tahiri had said.

However, when asked to give clarifications for this promise, Tahiri said that its implementation was not in her hands.

“I did not promise, I just explained what the agreement stipulated. It was not in our hands,” she said.

Djuric had no comment on this.

Cadastre agreement

This agreement was signed on 2 September 2011, whereas Serbia returned to Kosovo only 0.02% of cadastral documents, from a total of 12 million.

On the other hand, Kosovo failed to pass the law on the establishment of the Agency for Property Comparison and Verification.

“The responsibility falls on our side. We failed to adopt the law in our Assembly,” Tahiri said.

On the other hand Djuric said that they will respect all decisions of the Constitutional Court, as this agreement ended up in this court in Serbia.
“Decisions of the Constitutional Court are final, executable and discussions can be conducted in the political context but not in the legal one. They are directly implementable,” said Marko Djuric.

But he said that they are looking for a solution for this problem along with the lawyers.
The establishment of the Association of Kosovo Serb-Majority Municipalities

Kosov wants this association to be a non-governmental organization, whereas Serbia sees it as a unit with executive powers.

According to Djuric, the Association of Kosovo Serb-Municipalities needs to be a strong and central institution for Serb population in Kosovo.

According to Tahiri, a management group appointed by the Minister of Local Government Administration drafted an initial statute that will define how the association will look like, and this statute is now in Brussels.

But Djuric said that the idea is for the Serb-community itself to propose to the Brussels Agreement Implementation Council a draft of the statute, and for this draft statute to be later acknowledge by Prishtina institutions.

The integration of “civil protection” staff in Kosovo institutions

Kosovo has integrated some Serbs in the country’s police structures, but this was not the case with some 700 members of the Civil Protection, which are still receiving wages from Serbia.

Tahiri said that they had submitted the plan for the integration of Civil Protection memers, but, according to her, they should be initially removed from the parallel structures.

“Brussels expects Serbia to present the plan for the dissolution of parallel structures,” she said.

For his part, Djuric said that according to Ahtisaari and laws that regulate northern Kosovo municipalities to day, they are able to organize services which aim to support municipal institutions in different natural disasters and other problems.
Tahiri said that some 400 persons from Civil Protection will be integrated in various ministries of the state of Kosovo.