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EP Draft Report on Kosovo: Serious concern about slow progress in fight against corruption and organised crime

The European Parliament rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, welcomes the progress made in implementing the various agreements signed since August 2016 in the normalisation process with Serbia, after months of little to no progress.

In the draft resolution on Kosovo’s progress, which was presented to the Committee for Foreign Policy of the European Parliament (AFET) on 9 January, Lunacek calls on both Kosovo and Serbia to show more engagement and sustained political will as regard the normalisation of relations.

The draft resolution of EP rapporteur notes that the Association of Serbian Municipalities has not yet been set up and that the Statute still has to be drafted, and urges Kosovo to establish the Association in line with the agreement reached under the EU-facilitated dialogue and with the ruling of the Kosovo Constitutional Court. Lunacek also expresses concern at the continued presence of Serbia’s parallel structures and calls for their dismantlement, encouraging all stakeholders to find an acceptable and mutually agreeable long-term solution for the status of the Trepca mining complex.

It is noted that some progress has been made on other technical issues such as cadastre, university diplomas and licence plates and on the implementation of the agreement on the Mitrovica Bridge and welcomes the allocation of an independent international telephone code to Kosovo. Lunacek urges the leaders of the Kosovo-Serbian community to take full ownership of their place and role in the institutions of the country, acting independently from Belgrade and constructively for the benefit of all the people of Kosovo.

The European Parliament rapporteur for Kosovo encourages the remaining five Member States to proceed with the recognition of Kosovo, because it would be beneficial to the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Lunacek expresses concern at the persistent extreme polarisation of the political landscape and calls on all the parties to create the conditions for a fruitful, solution and result-oriented dialogue.

There is a serious concern about the very slow progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime and the lack of progress regard to the protection of freedom of expression and media freedom.

Lunacek invites Kosovo to fully cooperate with the Court in The Hague, remanding that witness protection is a crucial issue. Kosovo’s authorities are also called to implement all UN conventions in cultural heritage at all levels regardless of the status of Kosovo vis-à-vis UNESCO.

The draft resolution of the European Parliament welcomes the entry into force of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) on 1 April 2016 as the first contractual relationship and an essential step for the integration of Kosovo into the EU.

Mihaela Šljukić

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