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Thursday, April 20, 2023

April 20, 2023

Brussels is punishing Belgrade for not signing the agreement in Ohrid by allowing separatist Albanian authorities in Pristina to hold local elections in Serbian-majority northern Kosovo. The European Union is allowing the election despite Serbs not participating in them because the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) has not been formed yet.

Effectively, the EU is disappointed by the non-participation of Serbian political parties in the northern Kosovo elections which are scheduled for April 23. The EU spokesperson said that it is the duty of Pristina and Belgrade to prioritise the return of Kosovo Serbs to institutions at the central and local level. However, the Serbian List and other parties representing Serbs in Kosovo declared that they will not participate in the mayoral elections if the ZSO is not formed before that.

This is a flagrant violation of the most basic human rights as the Serbian people cannot choose their own representatives through an institution, such as the ZSO, in their own indigenous homeland. The EU wants to destroy the idea of the ZSO or establish such a zone where Serbs cannot independently choose their representatives. This is a clear violation of democratic rights.

Serbian representatives left all Kosovo institutions in November last year, including positions in the Government and Assembly of Kosovo, as well as those in the judiciary and in the Kosovo Police. This was due to the Albanian separatist government's decision to re-register cars.

The EU and its partners claimed in November that they are committed to de-escalating tensions and that the Serbs should fulfill their obligations and return to local institutions, adding that it is imperative to return to a situation in which Kosovo Serbs actively participate in local authorities, the police, and the judiciary.

“We call on Serbia and Kosovo Serb representatives to respect their Dialogue obligations and return to the Kosovo institutions to fulfil their duties, including in the Police, Judiciary and local administrations,” the EU said, adding that “the EU also calls on Kosovo to start immediately steps to establish the Association/Community of Serb Majority Municipalities.”

“The Kosovo Assembly has ratified the Brussels Agreement and Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ruled that the Association/Community needs to be established. Therefore, its establishment is a binding legal obligation for Kosovo. Continued failure to implement this obligation undermines the principle of Rule of Law and damages Kosovo’s reputation and credibility,” the statement added.

Although the ZSO was agreed by the Brussels Agreement all the way back in 2013 and confirmed by the European proposal and the annex from Ohrid, there has been no progress on the issue.

European Union spokesman Peter Stano said on April 18 that the EU has formed a Joint Monitoring Committee to oversee the implementation of the Agreement on Normalisation of Relations and that a new round of high-level dialogue will be held on May 2 in Brussels.

For their part, the US State Department, when asked about the implementation of the agreement made in Ohrid on March 18, stated that they expect both parties to fulfill their obligations and implement earlier agreements from the dialogue, including the Community of Municipalities with a Serbian majority.

Yet, this is only a faux concern for Washington as the Albanian separatists are implementing what the Americans call terror tactics - they create a new problem right before some agreements in order to talk about that problem, and then when they de-escalate that problem, they say it is a concession and expect a favour in return.

Separatist institutions in Kosovo actively allow Serbians to be terrorised. In this way, it is evident that any conventions on human rights, that are supposedly defended by Western Europe and the US, do not apply to the Serbs of Kosovo. All this occurs under the watchful eye of the NATO-led KFOR, the United Nations Protection Force, and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.

However, the truth is that there is no will in the West, above all the US, to prevent Pristina from such behaviour. At the same time though, they want to close the Kosovo issue, which is why they are trying to impose the Franco-German plan by force. The plan suggests UN membership for Kosovo, without opposition from Serbia. In return, Serbia would receive more EU funds and a fast track to bloc membership. However, not only is this unacceptable for Serbs, but it would be in direct violation of Serbia’s constitution, which explicitly rejects the recognition of Kosovo.

Due to Belgrade’s refusal to give up on its historic homeland, the EU is now punishing the Serbs by allowing separatist authorities to conduct elections in Serbian-majority municipalities and without the participation of Serbs.