In the 428th broadcast of Slobodno srpski, the director of the Institute for Social Policy and former leader of the Self-Determination movement Visar Ymeri was a guest. In an interview with Budimir Ničić, he said that at this stage of the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, the European Union is no longer just a party that provides technical assistance, but also arbitrates in terms of what is and what is not agreed and how it will be implemented.
However, not all points of the agreement are clear enough, such as what self-government means for Serbs in Kosovo and how it will be implemented, but not only that.
„What does it mean that Serbia will not block Kosovo?“ What does it mean that Serbia will not vote against? Does this mean that Serbia can vote against, but will not ask countries to vote against. It is still not known what that means. Kosovo and Serbia will build relations based on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and how this will be implemented is still unknown,“ says Ymeri and adds that the text of the agreement does not give a clear picture of what the future will look like.
Kurti in the opposition is not the same as Kurti in power
He claims that the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, has changed his earlier negative attitude regarding the establishment of the Association/Community of Municipalities with a Serbian majority population.
„If we talk about Kurti as a politician, he was completely against any idea of an association of municipalities with a majority Serbian population, but now that opinion has changed. „Prime Minister Kurti is not like opposition Kurti, like Kurti from Self-Determination,“ claims Ymeri.
In his opinion, the Association should be formed, and the Government of Kosovo should have its own idea about it and come out with its draft.
„Of course, that is the agreement that we signed in 2013, that is the agreement that we voted in the Parliament in the Assembly of Kosovo and now it should become a reality, an institutional reality.“ I think that the Kosovo government should have its own idea and draft of the statues and go to Brussels with it and start talking about it. And Serbia will have its political position and Kosovo will have its political position, so let’s talk about what it will look like,“ Ymeri believes.
No one talks about the Association with the Serbs from Kosovo
He states that the previous authorities in Pristina, but also in Belgrade, were not interested in solving the issue of the Association, while Vučić and Thaci discussed the idea of demarcation.
„At that time, the Association was not even a topic, no one wanted the Association. I see an even bigger problem in the sense that we are talking about an institution that should be formed in Kosovo and that will be in the hands of the Kosovo Serbs, and no one is talking to the Kosovo Serbs about it. „Neither the Kosovo government nor the Serbian government takes into account what the Serbian community in Kosovo thinks and wants,“ says Ymeri.
He criticizes Kurti that in two years in power he never visited any municipality with a Serbian majority. He never once met with any political representative of the Serbs from Kosovo, since he says that the Serbian List is not a representative of Kosovo Serbs, but a representative of Belgrade. There is some truth in that, but again … the fact is that the politicians of the Serbian List are the political representatives of the Serbian community here,“ said Visar Ymeri.
Commenting on the idea of what could be a compromise solution regarding the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, Ymeri quotes a high representative of the administration.
„I think the idea of compromise was best expressed by Derek Scholz in an interview he had at the beginning of this year when he said – from the dialogue, we expect Serbia to recognize some level of sovereignty for Kosovo, and Kosovo to recognize some level of autonomy for the Serbian community on Kosovo. I think that the compromise should be looked at that way, and it is the only compromise we can agree on,“ said the former president of the Self-Determination Movement, Visar Ymeri.
Mayors with a small „m“
Referring to the results of the recently held extraordinary local elections in Kosovo, he also believes that they were legal, because they were held in accordance with the constitution and Kosovo laws, but their legitimacy was questioned because the turnout, especially among local Serbs, was very small. These are municipalities with a Serbian majority, and that is according to the Constitution, reminds Ymeri.
„You cannot become the mayor of any municipality in Kosovo without the acceptance of the community from which you became the leader, if you can say so.“ You cannot become a mayor of Gjakova if the citizens of Gjakova do not vote for you,“ says Ymeri.
He reminded of the statement of American Ambassador Hovenier that no one thinks that these mayors will be real mayors, that they will not be political, but only technical mayors.
„Kurti also said that they are mayors, but not with a capital „m“, but with a small „m“, but what does that practically mean? asked Visar Ymeri as a guest on the Slobodno Srpski show.