Lajcak for Kosovo Online: There is no progress in normalization of relations without progress in establishing the CSM

Miroslav Lajčak
Source: Kosovo Online

Without progress regarding the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities, it is difficult to expect progress in the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, Special Representative of the European Union for the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, said in a statement for Kosovo Online.

Lajcak pointed out that Serbia and Kosovo were on their European path and were aware of their obligations.

"For Serbia, it is the annual report of the European Commission that specifies exactly what needs to be done. For Kosovo, it is the Stabilization and Association Agreement. In addition, in line with EU Council decisions, the normalization of relations is a prerequisite for progress on the European path. The Union has clearly stated that it cannot import unresolved bilateral problems," Lajcak explained.

When asked about progress regarding the CSM, he responded, "There is currently no progress."

"I can only reiterate that everything agreed upon must be fulfilled because the general principle 'Pacta sunt servanda' – the fundamental principle of contract law according to which a concluded agreement is binding on the contracting parties, who are obliged to fulfill their obligations as stipulated in the agreement and are responsible for fulfilling those obligations – applies to both sides. If there is no progress regarding the Community, it is difficult to expect progress in the normalization of relations," Lajcak emphasized.

Regarding the difficult negotiations on the issue of the dinar, he pointed out that there were always solutions if there was goodwill.

"If there is no solution, goodwill is lacking. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is difficult. There is an atmosphere of mistrust and confrontation. In such an atmosphere, it is difficult to normalize relations. Issues that are more technical than political in nature are quite difficult to resolve. But I appreciate that both sides are committed to finding solutions. We have met five times in the last six weeks, and we will meet again next week. Both sides are participating in finding solutions, and that is very important," Lajcak said.

When asked if it is worthwhile to meet regarding the issue of the dinar when there has been no progress so far, Lajcak said it was not true that there had been no progress because each meeting brought some progress.

"Perhaps less than people would like to see. And in the last meeting, we made progress. Of course, it makes sense and is worthwhile to meet because there are people who do not have access to the money they are entitled to receive. For me, people always come first. It is not politicians but people on the ground who need to see that what we are doing is good for them," he emphasized.

Asked about the conclusions of his work so far, as he has been appointed as the future EU Ambassador to Switzerland, Lajcak said it was still too early for conclusions.

"I am in this position until the end of August, there is still enough time and a lot of work. You can ask me this question in August," Lajcak said.