Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Rexhepi: The term "Serb" in the CSM bothers the current government

Emisija "Dogovor?!"
Source: Radio Kim

The Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Emilia Rexhepi, confirmed in Radio Kim “Dogovor” that the current government in Pristina, as well as herself, when it came to the formation of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, was bothered by the term "Serb" and that she expected "that it will be reformulated". Nenad Rasic, Minister for Communities and Returns believes that the name is unimportant, but the legal status of this body, whose formation is foreseen by the Brussels Agreement.

Emilia Rexhepi says that the formation of the Community, that is, the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities was actively discussed as early as 2015 and that years have passed and little has been done in the meantime. This government, she says, has inherited many problems from the previous ones, including the one about the formation of the CSM.

"I don't think it (Community of Serb-majority Municipalities) is right either because it is an ethnic group of people. Here you have the creation of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities. Then tomorrow we will have the creation of a community of Albanian municipalities, so someone will look for a Bosniak community, and someone else will look for another one. Municipalities are civil; municipalities are not of one ethnic community. Other ethnic communities live in those municipalities, but you exclude and discriminate against those people in the name itself. The very fact that our government advocates a civic way of thinking should then give access to all communities equally. This is where we came to "barricades" at the very start regarding the name. I hope that it will be reformulated and I hope that we will not have a state within a state like the Republika Srpska in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which stagnates every process in Bosnia and Herzegovina," the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of minorities and human rights says.

Redzepi says that the creation of Republika Srpska in Kosovo is not just a thesis repeated by representatives of the Kosovo government.

"The reflection in the north of Kosovo is directly connected with Bosnia and Herzegovina, directly connected with Montenegro, so I believe that the best possible solution is to calm the tension, to refer to normalization, and to find the best long-term solution for the normal functioning of all people with this agreement, to move freely, to work freely, to have their personal documents recognized, to connect economically.

When asked if this meant that this government was bothered by the term "Serb" in the CSM, Rexhepi says.

"It bothers me too. Why should they be "Serb-majority municipalities", says Rexhepi, who, in response to the journalist's statement that the name is such because the majority in those municipalities are the Serbs, states that it "can be reformulated".

To the remark that the mentioned name was agreed upon in Brussels, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Kosovo briefly replied "we will see".

"We will see how the negotiation and agreement process will go."

Emilia Rexhepi believes that the frequent visits of European and American officials send a clear message that Kosovo must talk more seriously, but also normalize relations with Serbia.

And the Minister for Communities and Returns in the Government of Kosovo, Nenad Rasic, during a recent appearance on Albanian television, said that the name of the CSM did not have to be like that, but that, for example, this body could also be called a "group of municipalities".

Referring to that statement, Rasic reminded that even according to the Brussels Agreement, there was no Community but an Association of municipalities with a Serb-majority population.

"That name is definite. It will certainly not be the way it is presented now, but it must be in any case with a Serb-majority population. I have always said that we need new ideas. In this case, metaphorically speaking, both sides have gone into the bunker and no one is budging, they are holding fast to parts of the agreement rather than the whole agreement, ignoring the agreement in its entirety but clinging to one or two points. We have no ideas there either. Nobody gives those ideas. I think that we, the Serbs here in Kosovo, who are concerned with that community, would have to initiate proposals, but also some of our conclusions, even if they are wrong. Talking about the CSM, we don't use any capacity, we just repeat like parrots, and in such circumstances, there are two elements - the name itself, which I think is symbolic. You don't have anything spectacular in the name itself, but that's why the part that concerns the status of the organization itself is much more important. Legal and technical status, as provided for in the agreement, within the Kosovo institutions. The name is not important, it is not the most important, the most important is the status", Nenad Rasic points out.

When asked what the status of the Association/Community would be within the Kosovo system, Rasic replies that no one knows.

"We will get to the point where someone will serve it to us again. Neither Belgrade nor Pristina are doing anything to hire any group, whether they are lawyers from Pristina, Belgrade, or Brussels, it doesn't matter, but we don't have any proposals".

Rasic reminds that the authentic Serbs from Kosovo were completely sidelined in that process, but that after "some other people who were in positions" over the years, those who are now in power must take responsibility for the proposed solution.