Borrell: Kosovo to establish the CSMs as soon as possible

European Union insists that Pristina must establish Community of Serbian Municipalities (CSMs) as soon as possible, in accordance with 2013 Brussels Agreement.

Source: Kosovo online

However, it does not have the possibility to "force" Kosovo to do it, it follows from the answer of the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to the parliamentary question "what will be done regarding Kosovo's refusal to form the CSMs".

"The establishment of the Association/Community of municipalities with a Serbian majority was agreed upon by both sides, Kosovo and Serbia, in the Brussels Agreement from 2013. The agreement was ratified by the Kosovo Parliament and Kosovo should fulfill its legal obligation and implement it without delay.

Both parties should fulfill all their international legal obligations and pending agreements, as well as make further significant efforts to reach a comprehensive legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations, which is crucial for their European road," Borrell stated in a written response.

The vice president of the European Commission and the head of the EU's foreign affairs service added that "meeting the needs of the minority Serbian community in Kosovo is of great importance for the EU in Kosovo" and that Brussels is carefully monitoring the development of the situation in those areas.

"EULEX actively supports Kosovo's law enforcement institutions in strengthening the rule of law, including their efforts to investigate security incidents related to religious and cultural facilities. The EU has continuously reminded Kosovo institutions to quickly and fully implement the Constitutional Court's ruling on land ownership of Dečani monastery without any further delay," said Borrell in response to questions about the protection of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo, primarily the Serbian Orthodox Church's monasteries and earlier requests by the authorities in Pristina to UNESCO to remove those monasteries from the list of endangered world cultural heritage sites, but also to register them as "Kosovo" instead of "Serbian".

"The EU attaches great importance to the rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the rights and religious freedoms of minority communities, and carefully monitors all developments in these areas in Kosovo," Borrell added.

The EU has repeatedly stated that they do not have mechanisms to "force" the two parties to respect the signed agreements, but only to remind them of it, and that in accordance with the fulfillment of obligations, both Kosovo and Serbia will progress on the way to the EU.

Achieving a comprehensive legally binding agreement between the two parties remains an unchanged condition for joining the European Union.


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