Celic: Pristina has been trading with the CSM from the start; the Constitutional Court will wait for the elections

Dušan Čelić
Source: Kosovo Online

Associate Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Kosovska Mitrovica, Dusko Celic, assesses that Pristina has been trading with the formation of the CSM from the beginning and that the eventual submission of the draft statute to the Constitutional Court will be a continuation of Albin Kurti's political game in which he will wait for the elections and then further "dilute and render meaningless" the existence of this institution.

"From the start, it has been about trading. Pristina first creates a problem on the ground and then trades that problem. It makes a unilateral move and then negotiates about that unilateral move, which ultimately remains in force in some other form. That will probably be the case here as well," Celic believes.

According to him, there is a chance that the draft statute of the CSM will soon be sent to the Constitutional Court, but this institution will not rush in making a decision because Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti will do everything to leave the issue of the CSM until after the elections in Kosovo.

"Firstly, I don't expect the Constitutional Court to issue a quick statement on this matter. I don't believe they will rush. I assume they will wait for the general elections in Kosovo. I don't expect Kurti to enter a new electoral cycle with any kind of CSM statute. I simply don't believe that can be expected unless there is a change in the opinion of their Western political mentors," Celic says.

He adds that the assessment of constitutionality will essentially be buying time but also an attempt to further dilute and render meaningless the powers of the CSM.

"We can only assume that this is again a political game of Albin Kurti and the authorities in Pristina. It may be done, but I don't believe the Constitutional Court will decide on it relatively quickly. It's probably a formal step considering that Pristina does not accept any form of CSM, not even a version that would be completely meaningless. Pristina has done everything in the past year to render the CSM meaningless, which, objectively, based on those original proposals, did not have any significant powers," Celic says.

Celic adds that another, no less significant problem is that nobody knows which draft of the CSM will be presented to the Constitutional Court.

"According to the Brussels agreements on the Community of Serb Municipalities, and let me remind you, there were three of them, the only entity authorized to draft that proposal was the so-called Management Team, and the Management Team did so. But suddenly, that draft proposal was removed, and there is mention of some European draft proposal for the Statute. And now, it is probably thought that this European draft proposal for the Statute will be submitted to the constitutional court for consideration," Celic says.

When asked if he expects an unexpected decision from the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, Celic is pessimistic.

"I assume that the version of the draft Statute proposed by the European Union, or Lajcak as the mediator of the Brussels dialogue, will be diluted, and at some point, if it reaches the decision-making phase, their Constitutional Court will further dilute that matter. I don't have high expectations for any future CSM. I don't believe it will have any significant powers. It will more likely be, at best, a shell without substance," Celic emphasizes.

Reminding that in 2015, the Constitutional Court rejected the proposed draft of the CSM, Celic does not exclude the possibility of a different decision now.

"In return, Kosovo will be rewarded with membership in the Council of Europe, and unfortunately, I do not exclude some other concessions to Kosovo that could eventually be made for the formal acceptance of the CSM. But, I repeat, based on everything we see now, the CSM will not have any significant powers to protect any collective rights of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija," Celic says.