Analysts: Kosovo should immediately start forming the CSM

Natpis ZSO u Novom Brdu
Source: Kosovo Online

Professor of constitutional law at the University of Pristina, Arsim Bajrami, stated that the agreement on the normalization of relations with Serbia puts Kosovo in front of international obligations, adding that the formation of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities should be started immediately.

"As the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has said several times, Kosovo should immediately start the process of establishing the Community, through the management team. I think it is not a big problem, because there is protection - such as the verdict of the Constitutional Court. Kosovo must fulfill this obligation without delay and immediately," Bajrami told Telegrafi.

And the executive director of the Kosovo Institute for Justice, Ehat Miftaraj, says that Kosovo should take the first step towards the implementation of the agreement for the normalization of relations, adding that the priority is to start the process of forming the Community.

"Based on what Borrell said, but also based on what we see on the ground, Kosovo is the one that - as soon as possible, i.e. immediately - should start with the arrangements for drafting the statute of the Community of Municipalities with a Serbian majority, which will be then negotiate in Brussels, between Kosovo, Serbia and the EU," Miftaraj told for Telegrafi.

Bajrami says that the Government of Kosovo should, however, be careful about the implementation of Article 7 of the Agreement on Normalization, which talks about the self-governance of the Serbian community.

According to him, Kosovo should not allow an "extended interpretation of that article", because it could seriously question the unitary character of the state, as well as the competences and competences of the republic's authorities on the entire territory of Kosovo.

According to him, the community has a territorial character, because it exercises its powers on the territories of the municipalities that will be part of it.

But, he adds, Article 7 of the Agreement does not talk about the territorial aspect, but about self-governance at the community level.

"Care must be taken when applying this article related to the Association", Bajrami says.

"This point 7 informally sets the level of autonomy for Serbs. However, the international community avoided mentioning the term "autonomy" or "Republic of Srpska", due to the risk that the mention of any Serbian autonomy or entity in Kosovo would have a domino effect in other Balkan countries. At this stage, if these terms were explicitly mentioned, there would be an implicit obligation for both countries to change their constitutions. Therefore, Kosovo could not achieve any model of territorial autonomy without changing the constitution, because this directly affects the unitary character of the state," Bajrami says.

Miftaraj says that he sees the issue of Article 7 of the Normalization Agreement, which talks about the self-governance of the Serbian community, as well as the Association Agreement, as separate, but that during implementation they will be connected.

According to his words, the agreement opens up the possibility of granting municipalities with a Serbian majority, based on the Constitution of Kosovo, additional powers in specific areas related to education, health and economic development.

"Giving more jurisdiction at the local level to municipalities with a Serbian majority can be beneficial for Kosovo in the sense that the Community has a more coordinating character, without executive powers, which can then have more of an advisory role than any role, which could mean a form of self-government for the local Serbs." , says Miftaraj.