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Quint, EU and OSCE regret Kosovo Government decision to finalise expropriation of over 100 parcels of land in Serb-majority municipalities

Session of the Government of Kosovo; Photo: Facebook / Albin Kurti

PRISTINA – The Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with the EU Office in Kosovo, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission in Kosovo regret the decision taken by the Government of Kosovo on May 30 to finalize expropriation of over 100 parcels of land in Serb-majority municipalities in the north of Kosovo.

They said in a statement that several of their missions had previously shared with the Government assessments from international legal experts, including from the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, indicating that the Government violated its own laws and regulations due to procedural and technical flaws during the expropriation process.

“We note that the Kosovo judicial system identified similar legal concerns with the preliminary expropriation decision, which the Government has not yet addressed While some of the claimants’ properties were removed from the final expropriation decision, we regret that the Kosovo government did not wait for all open court procedures to be fully adjudicated before taking this decision”, it is stressed in a statement.

They added that it is essential that the government make efforts to ensure that expropriation activities comply with the law, that due process is followed, and that the property rights of concerned owners and interest holders are fully respected.

“Separately, we have shared our concerns with the Government that the draft expropriation law does not conform with Kosovo’s commitments made under the Ahtisaari Plan and have encouraged the government to modify the law accordingly before passing it”, it is added.

They encouraged the Kosovo government to adhere to the rule of law and good governance, which are the foundations of vibrant, democratic societies.

“Furthermore, we call on the Government to reaffirm its commitment to the Ahtisaari principles, including the protection and promotion of non-majority community rights”, statement concluded.

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