Novakovic: I am skeptical about the implementation of the CSM

Igor Novaković
Source: Kosovo Online

The proposal for the draft statute of the Community of Serb Municipalities, offered by the "big five" to Belgrade and Pristina two weeks ago, has not yet been disclosed by both sides, and Igor Novakovic from the Center for International and Security Affairs believes that it is probably in line with the Constitution of Kosovo and contains elements that were not envisaged in the First Brussels Agreement of 2013 and the 2015 agreement.

"Aleksandar Vucic and Albin Kurti have separately stated that there was an agreement with European representatives not to publicly discuss its content, but it is very likely that there are some elements that were not envisaged in the 2015 agreement or the First Brussels Agreement of 2013," Novakovic said for Kosovo Online.

As he notes, it is quite likely that this document is in compliance with the Constitution of Kosovo, and he adds that there may be elements related to the 15 models of European best practices mentioned earlier by Miroslav Lajcak, the European Union's Special Representative for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

Novakovic points out that during the reporting on October 21 about the course of the meeting with the Quint, it was mentioned that the statute took into account one of those models.

"What that is, it is very difficult to say, but I assume that it is in line with what was agreed in the Brussels Agreement this year, where we again have the mention of the best European practices. It concerns Article 7, which speaks about the right to self-government for the Serbian minority in Kosovo and those European practices," Novakovic adds.

Regardless of the fact that the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, has stated that the proposal of the "big five" is a "good framework for further discussions," Novakovic says he is skeptical about the implementation of the CSM.

"The fundamental problem here is that Kurti's entire political platform since 2014 has been based on opposing negotiations, i.e., opposing what was agreed. The issue of the Community was crucial in 2015 when they used tear gas in the Assembly and when there were protests on the streets, so it is very difficult for him to now defend the formation of that body regardless of the basis," Novakovic says, adding that he believes that the negotiations will continue.

According to Novakovic, the formalities insisted upon by Kurti – signing the proposal and verifying the constitutionality of the draft statute by the Constitutional Court of Kosovo – will prove to be significant obstacles to the acceptance of the Community of Serb Municipalities.

"Accepting the CSM will politically cost both Kurti and Self-Determination, and apart from those ideological convictions, that is one of the reasons why I am skeptical about the implementation of that provision of the agreement," Novakovic emphasizes.