ČAGLAVICA, April 2 – The 420th show of Slobodno Srpski was hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo in charge of human rights and non-majority communities, Emilija Redzepi. In an interview with Budimir Ničič, she expressed her expectation that the European plan on the normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade, including the Ohrid Agreement on its implementation, will be fully realized.
„The seriousness of this proposal or agreement is greater because at the head of that agreement are two major European powers such as Germany and France, under the auspices of the United States of America and with the new annex that was added in Ohrid, the monitoring of the implementation, that will be carried out by the European Union and there are now also sanctioning measures if one of the parties does not approach the right way of implementing that agreement as agreed. You know how, we lost a lot of time, we lost more than a decade solving or not solving…“ says Redzepi.
She claims that Kurti’s government is a serious one that solves problems and obligations in the right way and blames the previous authorities for the fact that the Brussels Agreement was not fully implemented.
„Why hasn’t it been implemented so far?“ I have experience and I was part of perhaps not the executive power in an earlier period, but certainly in the legislative power several times in the parliament of Kosovo, as a member of parliament. And I know that there was neither the will, nor the readiness, nor the seriousness to approach the right way of solving and implementing that agreement“, said the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo.
She says that both sides, Kosovo and Serbia, have no other alternative than the path to the European Union.
„Both sides are losing large financial resources for their economic recovery and economic development and progressive development on the way to the European Union to improve their citizens’ living standards at least a little, so it is not in anyone’s interest to stagnate this process. Any party that does this will surely be sanctioned and people will lose… Kosovo may lose its membership in the EU, it may lose a multimillion-dollars capital investment fund for economic development from European funds. Serbia even more…“
There are no red lines at the negotiating table
Referring to the statements of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that he will not accept Kosovo’s independence and a seat in the United Nations, Emilia Režepi says that there must be no red lines in the negotiations.
„If the two sides sat down at the same table and talked and agreed under someone’s auspices, and it’s not just any auspices, but they are important world powers, there are no red lines in every sense.“ If you want normalization of relations and joint coexistence, there are no red lines. There you have to find a way to overcome those red lines because I believe that if, and of course you have the information and you have read every point of that agreement and the annex that was added to that agreement, both sides have agreed and sworn that Serbia cannot stop Kosovo according to membership in the European Union, nor to any other international organization,“ Redzepi claims.
Why does Kosovo not have a director of the Office for Communities
Commenting on the State Department’s recently published report on the state of human rights in Kosovo, Redzepi admits that there are certain problems related to ethnically motivated violence and that there is no justification for it.
„The Americans can’t get it right or make a mistake.“ That’s something that they’re always realistic about something and that’s something that we’ve been dealing with all these years. Now, we in the Balkans always want to either exaggerate or skip something, but someone will tell us that what we are doing is not good, so this report is realistic for me“, assesses Emilia Redzepi.
Although she claims that Prime Minister Kurti is a responsible politician who sincerely fights corruption, she admits that there are certain cracks in his cabinet. Such an example is the fact that the Office for Communities at the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Kosovo has not had its director for a long time, and that hundreds of thousands of euros intended for its work remained unused and returned to the budget.
„Every week I ask that we have a director and every week I ask that that Office be more accessible to non-majority communities.“ The Prime Minister appointed a certain Elizabeth to lead that Office, I stayed away from it a little, I follow what will happen. We’ll see,“ comments the vice-president in Kurti’s cabinet.
Although she is directly in charge of minorities in the Government, she claims that the work of this office is not her responsibility, but the Prime Minister’s.
„What I am interested in is the dysfunctionality of that Office and the allocation of funds intended for non-majority communities, which have been diverted somewhere else,“ Redzepi claims.
To the presenter’s question – where, she answered;
„When I asked her (Elizabeth) where those funds go, she said that all the criteria of that public call were transparent, that the allocation of funds to Albanian non-governmental organizations, first of all, almost 80% of the funds were given to Albanian NGOs, and I was against that and at that moment I took refuge a little“, admits the Vice-President of the Government of Kosovo in charge of human rights and non-majority communities, Emilija Redzepi, in an interview with Slobodno Srpski.