Politics

EU-mediated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue on license plates fails – EURACTIV.com


Kosovo and Serbia have did not agree on the problem of license plates, a problem that sparked unrest alongside the border in September 2021, after the deadline expired on Thursday, 21 April.

EU Specia Representative for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak invited the 2 sides to proceed discussions within the coming days and chorus from provocative actions. Kosovo, populated primarily with ethnic Albanians and a small Serb minority,  declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade refuses to simply accept.

A dialogue between the 2, aimed toward normalising financial and political relations, is essential for the progress of Serbia’s EU membership bid.

“I invite chief negotiators to meet again in the coming days to agree on the way forward & continue discussions on other current issues. We expect all actors to refrain from actions which could jeopardise the security on the ground,” Lajcak tweeted.

As no everlasting resolution was achieved, Serbia said the momentary resolution ought to stay in place in the meanwhile.

The license place situation stems from a bilateral settlement signed in 2011, whereby vehicles from every nation have been supposed to have the ability to proceed utilizing their very own license plates whereas on the opposite’s territory.

Kosovo and Serbia diffuse tensions by means of EU brokered deal

After ten days of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia that prompted considerations of a renewed battle within the area, a brief settlement has been brokered to de-escalate the scenario, Miroslav Lajčák, EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, introduced on Thursday (30 September).

 

Serbia, nonetheless, had violated this settlement from the beginning, requiring Kosovo-registered autos to make use of momentary Serbian plates when crossing the border.

Upon the settlement’s expiration, Kosovo reciprocated Serbia’s motion, requiring Serbian vehicles to make use of momentary Kosovo plates whereas in its territory.

This sparked fury in Belgrade in September and Serbian politicians rallied various Kosovo Serbs to dam roads. The authorities additionally despatched in troops and flew army jets proper to the border, demanding that Kosovo withdraw its personal police from roads blocked by Kosovo Serbs and border checkpoints.

Kosovo implements Brussels brokered license plate settlement

Kosovo has began to implement the settlement signed with Serbia in Brussels on 30 September, offering reciprocal therapy of state symbols on vehicles licensed in each nations.

The border police are utilizing stickers to cowl Serbia’s state symbols – nation acronym …

Kosovo and Serbia have been engaged in a bloody conflict between 1998 and 1999 that killed greater than 13,500 folks and displaced as much as 1.45 million Kosovo Albanians. The conflict ended after NATO launched a bombing marketing campaign in Serbia in 1999.

Today, over 1,600 Kosovo Albanians are nonetheless lacking, with Serbia thus far refusing to disclose the place their graves are.

Throughout September’s unrest, the Kosovo authorities reiterated its willingness to carry the necessities if Serbia did the identical. Serbia repeatedly refused and insisted Kosovo settle for their phrases; particularly, that Kosovo vehicles change their plates when coming into Serbia, whereas Serbia-plated vehicles can nonetheless journey freely in Kosovo. 

Ultimately, the 2 events signed a brief settlement in Brussels whereby vehicles travelling between the nations could be required to get stickers on the border to cowl flags and nation names.

Meanwhile, the thought was for representatives from Kosovo and Serbia to fulfill periodically and ship a everlasting resolution by April 21, 2022, nonetheless, the final six months introduced zero options.

On Thursday (21 April), following conferences in Brussels, Kosovo’s prime negotiator Besnik Bislimi and Serbia’s Petar Petkovic traded accusations.

Petkovic mentioned the sticker regime would stay in place till an answer is discovered by the 2 nations’ leaders – President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

Bislimi mentioned Serbia had refused all everlasting resolution choices introduced, in addition to a proposal to increase talks for one more 30 days. According to Radio Free Europe, he pressured that Kosovo would implement the identical measures as Serbia in opposition to vehicles crossing the border.

Kosovo and Serbia have been engaged in a dialogue facilitated by the European Union since 2011 aimed toward “normalising relations”. The dialogue has proven little or no success, with events buying and selling blame for not implementing the greater than 30 agreements signed. 

The essential situation – Kosovo’s recognition by Serbia – has by no means been on the desk in the course of the 10 years of dialogue.

Serbia has vowed by no means to recognise Kosovo, which it considers a cradle of the Serbian mediaeval statehood, and has been backed in its insistence by Russia, in addition to 5 EU nations that refuse to recognise Kosovo:  Greece, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, and Cyprus.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]




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