- Borrell: EU prefers current borders between Kosovo and Serbia (RFE)
- 12 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
- Survey: Citizens satisfied with Osmani and Kurti’s work (media)
- CDHRF calls on all parties to respect Court’s decision (media)
- National Security Council supports Grenell’s position (Telegrafi)
- Decision to open Kosovo’s air and land borders, next week (media)
- Von Cramon: All parties must respect Constitutional Court’s decision (DW)
- Vogel: U.S. expects swift agreement to declare Kosovo a concluded mission (RFE)
Borrell: EU prefers current borders between Kosovo and Serbia (RFE)
European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell, said in an interview with European media, that the EU is ready to resume the dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade but that they are waiting for the political situation in Kosovo to become clearer.
“We are not in a race with the United States of America on dialogue. There is only one dialogue, the dialogue initiated by the EU. If the U.S. want to help, this is good, they can lend a helping hand,” he said.
Asked about ideas for border changes and a territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia, Borrell made a statement that was different from his earlier remarks when he did not rule out the option. He said such ideas lack support and that the EU would prefer the current borders.
“First we must say that the agreement should be between the Serbs and Kosovars. If they don’t agree, then nothing. But it has been already said that the agreement needs to be accepted by the international community. They [Kosovo and Serbia] don’t have free hands to decide whatever they want, because this can have collateral consequences for the region. We all know how sensitive it is to change borders,” Borrell said. “It is clear that we in the EU prefer to maintain the current situation in terms of borders. Also some member states are against any movement in this direction”.
“If you start changing borders in one country, then others could say that they want to do the same thing. So, the best thing to do is to maintain the status quo and to see how negotiations will develop.”
12 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Friday that 12 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours. The new cases are from the municipalities of Vushtrri, Prizren and Malisheva.
Survey: Citizens satisfied with Osmani and Kurti’s work (media)
Several media outlets cover the findings of the UNDP Public Pulse survey conducted in April, which shows increasing trust by the citizens in the work of institutions, especially in the work of the government and the assembly. The survey notes that these are the highest levels of satisfaction registered in the Public Pulse surveys since 2010. According to the survey: 60.7 percent of citizens are satisfied with the work of the government, and 65.4 percent are satisfied with the work of the prime minister. The satisfaction of the citizens with the work of the Assembly President has reached a record level of 72.4 percent. The survey also notes that the satisfaction with the work of the president has dropped to 18.7 percent. According to the survey, 33.6 percent of the citizens are willing to protest for political reasons. 65.9 percent of the citizens said the COVID – 19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their economic well-being. The majority of respondents said they are satisfied with the measures of institutions in the fight against the COVID – 19 pandemic.
CDHRF calls on all parties to respect Court’s decision (media)
The Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) issued a statement today calling on all parties to respect the decision of the Constitutional Court. The Council said it is against any hate speech and against the public lynching of judges of the Constitutional Court.
“The CDHRF calls on all leaders of political parties to use their authority to calm the situation by distancing themselves from any threat or violent action. The CDHRF supports any protest or expression of dissatisfaction in line with the law and in peaceful fashion. Protests have no effect on the decision of the Constitutional Court, they will only damage the political party that organises them if there is violence during the protests. The political constellation after the decision of the Constitutional Court does not secure a stable governance and the country could go to new elections late this year or early next year. In a situation where nearly 58 – 60 Albanian MPs are in the opposition it is unthinkable there will be capital or important decisions on Kosovo. The CDHRF expects and calls on Kosovo’s political leaders to responsibly contribute to avoiding the situation from escalating and for peaceful handover of institutional responsibilities otherwise they will bear responsibility for possible consequences,” the statement notes.
National Security Council supports Grenell’s position (Telegrafi)
The U.S. National Security Council has supported the position of U.S. Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell on the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, the news website reports. The National Security Council retweeted Grenell’s post in which he notes: The Constitutional Court has spoken. To ensure peace and stability – and uphold the integrity of Kosovo’s justice system – everyone must respect the Court’s decision. I look forward to continuing my work with the people of Kosovo and their government to bring prosperity, development and jobs to the region.
Decision to open Kosovo’s air and land borders, next week (media)
Alban Zogaj, Chief of Staff at Kosovo’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is quoted as saying in several media that a decision on whether or not to open Kosovo’s air and land borders will be made next week.
“The third phase of opening will begin on June 1 and onwards, and we hope that in the first week we will have serious discussions on how to open borders and then we will automatically open airlines. So, I think the first week of June will be crucial for this decision. The decision has yet to be made and we don’t have an exact date when this will happen. June is key … We are in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the National Institute for Public Health to give us the green light on when we can proceed with the third phase and with the eventual opening of borders and flights,” Zogaj said.
Von Cramon: All parties must respect Constitutional Court’s decision (DW)
Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Kosovo, said in an interview for the news agency that all parties must respect the decision of the Constitutional Court in Kosovo. “This is the most important thing now and there is no alternative. The text of the constitution unfortunately leaves a lot of room for interpretation and so I understand why many people are irritated, but respect of the rule of law also means accepting the court’s decision, whether you like it or not,” she said.
“It is now the responsibility of Avdullah Hoti to find a majority in parliament and form a stable government for Kosovo. As a member of the European Parliament, I can say that anyone who wants change in the political landscape must achieve it through elections and not on the streets. In the next elections, we hope that the parties that will finally remove the spaces for interpretation in the constitution, which are constantly exploited by political actors in Kosovo, will win. People have the right to a coherent constitution!”
On ideas for a territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia, the MEP said: “I can only repeat it out loud and clear: An exchange of territories between Kosovo and Serbia is not an acceptable solution! It is not even a solution. Such a thing would not solve any of the existing problems, would not bring more stability and would not be in the interest of the majority of citizens. It would even set a very precedent. harmful.”
Commenting on a report by BIRN which revealed that the Kosovo Ministry of European Integration in 2019 probably paid a French PR agency to promote the idea of territorial exchange, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel said: “As for the French consulting firm, I think it’s absolutely unacceptable to hide behind a company and spend that public money. Anyone in Serbia or Kosovo who thinks that the exchange of territories is a good idea should say so publicly and personally commit to it. After that, we could present many arguments as to why this would destabilize the region rather than bring peace. However, from the EU’s point of view, it would be interesting to find out if this so-called study was paid for with EU funds. If that were the case, it would be a scandal. We will investigate.”
Vogel: U.S. expects swift agreement to declare Kosovo a concluded mission (RFE)
Toby Vogel, an expert with the Democratization Policy Council, said in an interview with the news agency that the U.S. want a swift agreement between Kosovo and Serbia so that they can declare their mission in Kosovo concluded and withdraw their troops. Vogel also said the Trump administration and Presidents Thaci and Vucic are the key actors supporting a territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia.