Mijacic: Elections will best show whether Kurti's policy on the CSM and the CoE gains or loses votes

Dragiša Mijačić
Source: Kosovo Online

Dragisa Mijacic, Coordinator of the Working Group of the National Convention on the EU for Chapter 35, says that this is a year when elections can be expected at any moment in Kosovo. He believes that the elections will best demonstrate whether Albin Kurti's actions, such as ignoring the suggestions of Western partners to take "tangible steps" towards forming the Community of Serb Municipalities for Kosovo's admission to the Council of Europe, are gaining him more votes or losing the votes he received in the previous elections.

"Kurti has a very broad electorate. He is supported by people from both the left and right spectrums, as well as conservatives and liberals, so we cannot make a clear assessment of how this decision will impact his voter base. There will certainly be those who support the stance of the Kosovo government and Albin Kurti's uncompromising approach. On the other hand, I am quite sure that many will see Kurti's behavior as leading to further isolation of Kosovo and will not support such positions," Mijacic told Kosovo Online.

If Kurti wants Kosovo to become a member of the Council of Europe, Mijacic states that the criteria he needs to meet are clear and not new.

"Kurti holds both the knife and the bread. The obligation for Kosovo to form the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) has been in place since 2013 and 2015. For over 10 years, it has been expected that the Kosovo government would implement this. Now, Western partners have stated that they cannot overlook the fact that Kosovo has not formed the CSM after so many years and thus should not be rewarded with Council of Europe membership, which is a political decision. Regarding France, Germany, Italy, and other Western European countries, until there are concrete and irreversible steps towards forming the CSM, Kosovo will not gain membership in the Council of Europe," Mijacic explained.

He recalled that Kurti has been an opponent of forming the CSM since the idea first came on the agenda, and it is a bitter pill for him to swallow as a politician leading the government.

"When you are in opposition, of course, you can oppose any solutions, but when you lead the government, you have a responsibility to decisions. For him, it is not easy to get past this, as it will certainly have significant political consequences. He has a governance system that is quite uncompromising, especially on issues related to the Serbian community. Personally, I don't think this is good for Kosovo. It's bad for Kosovo's multi-ethnicity and for Albin Kurti's political career. If we continue with a Kosovo government led by such a politician, we will surely see in the coming years situations similar to the past three or four years, with many unilateral acts and many unfortunate events in the north. This doesn't benefit anyone—not the Serbs, the Albanians, nor the Western partners," Mijacic assessed.