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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 28, 2021

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Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)
• Osmani and Kurti visit KSF participating ‘Defender Europe 21’ military exercise (media)
• Palmer to visit Kosovo next week (media)
• German Minister: Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization criteria (Express)
• Greek Foreign Minister to visit Kosovo next week (democracia.com)
• Kurti introduces the new RAEPC Board (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic after meeting with the patriarch and bishops: The ”play” of Kurti; Hillary’s ”idea” of Kosovan heritage (KoSSev)
• Diocese: Without previous respect of judicial decisions and the rule of law, pointless to answer Kurti’s letter (KoSSev)
• Office for KiM: With series of attacks message sent to Serb returnees they are not welcome (RTS)
• Gogic: By recognizing Kosovo, Greece would create itself problem with Cyprus (RTK2, Kosovo-online)
• Petkovic informed the French ambassador about the position of the Serbian people and the SOC in Kosovo (Kosovo Online)
• Simic, Ceranic with Szunyog on political situation, work of Assembly and challenges in Kosovo (TV Most)
• Kurti learned a lesson, the right decision to give up reciprocity towards Serbia (Kosovo Online)
• Vucic with Botsan-Kharchenko: Difficult days await our country (Kosovo-online)
• Lajcak and Palmer next week in Belgrade also (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)

International:

• Mystery plans to redraw Balkan borders alarm leaders (BBC)
• Is Kosovo taking a harder line with Serbia? (emerging-europe.com)
• Problems in Greek-Serbian relations over Kosovo? (greekcitytimes.com)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Balkan countries are source of most of SO2 emissions in Europe (balkangreenenergynews.com)
• Why we must show feminist solidarity with people on the long road West (Kosovo 2.0)
• Kosovo reports alarming figures of domestic violence with a staggering 500 cases in 5 months (euronews.al)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)
  • Osmani and Kurti visit KSF participating ‘Defender Europe 21’ military exercise (media)
  • Palmer to visit Kosovo next week (media)
  • German Minister: Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization criteria (Express)
  • Greek Foreign Minister to visit Kosovo next week (democracia.com)
  • Kurti introduces the new RAEPC Board (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Vucic after meeting with the patriarch and bishops: The ”play” of Kurti; Hillary’s ”idea” of Kosovan heritage (KoSSev)
  • Diocese: Without previous respect of judicial decisions and the rule of law, pointless to answer Kurti’s letter (KoSSev)
  • Office for KiM: With series of attacks message sent to Serb returnees they are not welcome (RTS)
  • Gogic: By recognizing Kosovo, Greece would create itself problem with Cyprus (RTK2, Kosovo-online)
  • Petkovic informed the French ambassador about the position of the Serbian people and the SOC in Kosovo (Kosovo Online)
  • Simic, Ceranic with Szunyog on political situation, work of Assembly and challenges in Kosovo (TV Most)  
  • Kurti learned a lesson, the right decision to give up reciprocity towards Serbia (Kosovo Online)
  • Vucic with Botsan-Kharchenko: Difficult days await our country (Kosovo-online)
  • Lajcak and Palmer next week in Belgrade also (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)

International:

  • Mystery plans to redraw Balkan borders alarm leaders (BBC)
  • Is Kosovo taking a harder line with Serbia? (emerging-europe.com)
  • Problems in Greek-Serbian relations over Kosovo? (greekcitytimes.com)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Balkan countries are source of most of SO2 emissions in Europe (balkangreenenergynews.com)
  • Why we must show feminist solidarity with people on the long road West (Kosovo 2.0)
  • Kosovo reports alarming figures of domestic violence with a staggering 500 cases in 5 months (euronews.al)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)

Kosovo has recorded 18 new cases of COVID-19 and no deaths in the last 24 hours. 412 recoveries have been confirmed over the same time period. There are 2,593 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.

Osmani and Kurti visit KSF participating ‘Defender Europe 21’ military exercise (media)

Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti visited today the training ground of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) to see from close their activities while attending the exercise “Defender Europe 21” along with U.S. Army and armies of other NATO countries.

President Osmani said the KSF is becoming a credible ally of Kosovo’s international allies adding that increase of capacities and modernization of the army is confirmed thanks to the support of strategic partners. She said the KSF is a synonym of country’s intact territory.

Prime Minister Kurti said that KSF’s professionalism during the exercise shows that Kosovo army is ready to contribute to global security. “Our Force is committed and ready to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and is fulfilling standards to become part of the Euro-Atlantic structures,” Kurti stated. He also said the government will continue supporting the KSF and promised an increase of budget aimed at reaching full operational capacities of the Kosovo army. 

Palmer to visit Kosovo next week (media)

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer is expected to pay an official visit to Kosovo next week.

Palmer’s visit to Kosovo was confirmed through a written response from the U.S. Embassy in Pristina.

In response to Reporteri.net, the U.S. Embassy states that Palmer will hold meetings with Kosovo officials to discuss bilateral relations.

“Next week, Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer will be in Pristina to meet with government officials and discuss our bilateral relations. As for EUSR Lajcak, please refer to the EU office,” it is said in the response of the American Embassy in Pristina.

German Minister: Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization criteria (Express)

Germany’s Europe Minister, Michael Roth, during his visit to Tirana on Thursday said that Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization criteria and urged the EU to deliver on promise of waving visas for Kosovo citizens.

“The European Union should keep its promises and I am stating this as autocriticism. Kosovo should have been granted visa liberalization long time ago, not because Michal Roth wants this, but because the European Commission has set the conditions which have been fulfilled,” German Minister said. Roth made the statement during a joint press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Greek Foreign Minister to visit Kosovo next week (democracia.com)

In recent weeks, regional media have written that Greece is considering recognizing the state of Kosovo, as relations between Kosovo and Greece are changing.

Demokracia.com learned from reliable sources that the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will visit Kosovo on June 4. This will be the second time a Greek foreign minister has officially visited Kosovo.

Dendias will meet with Kosovar institutional leaders, respectively with President Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Parliament Speaker Glauk Konjufca and his counterpart Gervalla-Schwarz.

Kurti introduces the new RAEPC Board (media)

The Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, through an announcement on Facebook has introduced the board of the Regulatory Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications (RAEPC) institution.

“With a team of professionals and professionals with experience in institutions, industry and academia, we are convinced that this is the most qualified Board that the institution of RAEPC has ever had, and we have full confidence that this Board will implement the vision for the development of the sector. RAEPC is a regulator of electronic and postal communications. Towards its appointment at the head of the constitutional and legal duty, we now have the new composition of the Board of RAEPC voted last night in the Assembly of the Republic,” Kurti wrote on the social network Facebook.

 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Vucic after meeting with the patriarch and bishops: The ”play” of Kurti; Hillary’s ”idea” of Kosovan heritage (KoSSev)

A play game is at hand, in which Kurti, on the one hand, is attempting to portray the Serbian heritage as Kosovan, while also alleging that he wants to negotiate with Serbs – but not with Serbia because, according to Kurti, it has no business in Kosovo – the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday following a lunch meeting with the SOC patriarch and bishops, reported portal KoSSev. He said that the Visoki Decani monastery is Serbian church property and Serb cultural heritage. Vucic also emphasized that it was Hillary Clinton who came up with the idea of “Kosovan cultural heritage.”

The Serbian President had a lunch meeting with the SOC bishops and patriarch in Belgrade yesterday. The lunch was also attended by the Serbian member of the Presidency of BiH, Milorad Dodik.

The key issues for the Serb people – including the issue of Kosovo – were discussed at the joint meeting of the political leaders and church dignitaries, the president noted.

”We talked about the situation in Kosovo. We talked about the situation in Republika Srpska, about all the problems we are facing, and we were open, and we understood each other well.” 

The president also informed the patriarch and the bishops about ”numerous dangers” and future meetings concerning Kosovo.

”I told them that Serbia is economically stronger now more than ever, that it is growing faster than ever, but I said that all this will remain as such as long as we can maintain peace and stability and as long as we can keep political things under control in the entire region,” said the Serbian president.

Visoki Decani belongs to the SOC, but ”Kosovo’s cultural heritage” started with Hillary Clinton

”Hard times and heavy burdens are ahead of us,” the Serbian president warned yesterday, commenting on the latest events regarding a SOC church in Kosovo – the monastery of Visoki Decani. He praised its clergy for reacting very wisely, by ”not responding to every provocation”.

On the other hand, Vucic revealed that he cannot fathom how ”part of the Serb public does not understand” Kurti’s ”play game”.

”Kurti is not talking about Serbian heritage, but about Kosovan heritage. That the Decani Monastery is a cultural heritage of Kosovo, how come people don’t notice that?! He is pretending this entire time that he loves Serbs, wants to negotiate with Serbs and for them to lead good lives in his independent country of Kosovo, but he will not negotiate with Serbia because it has no business in Kosovo.” 

The president argued that apart from certain politicians, the media also ”do not see” this.

”The essence lies in that, it used to be Mrs. Clinton’s idea – to talk about Kosovo’s cultural heritage the entire time. It is not Kosovan, it is Serbian, it could be Kosovan within the Serbian heritage or whatever you like, ” said Vucic.

Visoki Decani is Serbian cultural heritage and it belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Church – he stressed.

In his words, it is only a matter of time before Pristina comes out with ”its own Miras Dedeic, whom they will register as an NGO somewhere in their police ”.

”This is like the games played in Montenegro. ‘Orthodox Church in Montenegro’ – it is not the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, but the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro”

The bishops were ”surprised” by Greece’s reaction

Vucic claims that the bishops were surprised by the reaction of Greece.

”Little is known about it in public. Namely, at one point, Greece – we found it strange, because that happened at the time when Pristina introduced taxes on goods from central Serbia – allowed them (cf. Kosovo) to establish a so-called trade office. Now they went a step further. On Friday, as the state of Serbia, we were officially informed that they will improve their relations with Pristina, at the level of the so-called office for Kosovo’s interests. They established relations at the level of political directors, that is the highest possible level to the level of a minister,” the president said.

After this, the next step would be Greece’s recognition of Kosovo – he warned, begging the representatives of Greece not to go through with this.

According to Vucic, this complicates matters for Serbia.

Not only because Greece’s recognition of Kosovo would show that Europe is ”united against the interests of Serbia and the international public order” on that issue, but because there is a danger of other countries recognizing Kosovo under pressure, he alleged.

”Then we would enter bilateral agreements where a third country would represent Kosovo, which could thus become a member of certain international organizations and institutions such as NATO.”

Confirming that they contacted the Greek ambassador in Belgrade to discuss this issue, but also that Serbia did not take any measures.

”We trust in friendship and we hope that it (cf. Greece) will not go for additional measures,” Vucic said.

Dialogue in June, pressures on Serbia

The President also commented on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which is scheduled to resume in June.

He underlined that he expects to face pressure.

”Everything that Kosovo Albanians are doing represents pressure on the Republic of Serbia, and of course, there will be attempts to ensure Kosovo’s independence through various regional initiatives,” Vucic said.

”Even through something that would sometimes sound tempting or a good suggestion to either you or me, when, in fact, a de facto recognition of Kosovo’s independence lies behind it”

Although Serbia is facing a difficult period in a political sense, ”surrender is not an option”, Vucic concluded.

See at: https://bit.ly/3bWmo99

Diocese: Without previous respect of judicial decisions and the rule of law, pointless to answer Kurti’s letter (KoSSev)

In this situation, answering such letters without previous respect of judicial decisions and the rule of law is absolutely pointless, reads the brief reply of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren to Kurti’s letter to Father Sava Janjic, in which the Kosovo Prime Minister expressed his desire to visit the Visoki Decani monastery.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren remains on its previously clearly stated position that if Kosovo Albanian institutions want to show the minimum of good will for respecting the rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, they are obliged to fully implement the decision of the Kosovo Constitutional Court from 2016 which recognized the monastery property – reads the brief statement published on the website of the Diocese.

“This decision has been persistently ignored for five years despite requests for its implementation by the monastery and international representatives. Besides, the Minister of Spatial Planning from Mr. Kurti’s Government publicly rejected the decision of the Implementation Monitoring Council from November 2020 on the construction of the bypass road around the monastery’s protective zone. Undermining this decision which was adopted with international facilitation is practically calling for the violation of the Law on Special Protected Zones. In this situation, answering such letters without previous respect of judicial decisions and the rule of law is absolutely pointless,” the Diocese once again underlined.

The reaction arrived just a day after the Kosovo Prime Minister’s letter to the abbot of the monastery Visoki Decani was published on social networks by the Kosovo Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Hajrulla Ceku. In the letter, Kurti expressed his desire to visit the Visoki Decani monastery to discuss issues of common interest with the abbot.

In public, however, it does not appear as if the two sides have a common interest, but they do have issues of common interest, on which they have diametrically opposed views.

The Kosovo Prime Minister sent a letter to Abbot Sava Janjic in the same week that he, along with Vjosa Osmani and Glauk Konjufca, wrote to UNESCO, asking it to remove four Orthodox monasteries in Kosovo, including Visoki Decani, from the list of endangered monuments. The Diocese has been alerting for years that churches, monasteries, and Orthodox sites in Kosovo are endangered, including property and believers.

Kosovo officials also asked for Kosovo to be listed as the responsible state party for its monastery instead of Serbia as it was so far and accept Kosovo as a member into UNESCO. Kurti and Osmani previously sent a letter to Europa Nostra, after this organization shortlisted Visoki Decani for the list of the 7 most endangered European cultural monuments for this year. In April, once the monastery was officially included in this list, the Kosovo Foreign Minister, Donika Gervalla and Hajrulla Ceku also wrote to this organization – opposing the decision. The Kosovan officials claimed that the monastery is not endangered and that Europa Nostra had been deceived by the Serbian side.

Amid the latest tensions between the church and the Kosovo authorities, Bishop Teodosije of Raska and Prizren informed the public last week that all communication with Kosovo authorities is suspended until the rule of law is established and the decision of the Constitutional Court regarding the return of the land to the Visoki Decani Monastery is fully implemented.

See at: https://bit.ly/2SEGCOg

Office for KiM: With series of attacks message sent to Serb returnees they are not welcome (RTS)

“The latest series of attacks against Serb returnees’ families in Kosovo witnesses about endangerment of the most vulnerable group of population in the province and demonstrates hypocrisy and falsehood of Pristina politicians, who neither wished nor were able to protect the Serbs and their properties”, Office for Kosovo and Metohija said in a statement in relation to the  thefts affecting two Serb families in the village of Ceranovica, Novo Brdo municipality, RTS reports.

The house of Sreten Stojiljkovic was sprayed with fuel, which the office assessed as “a particular sort of intimidation and threat”, while an auxiliary object where he keeps the firewood and tools was broken into and robbed.  In a separate case in the same village, a house of Bozidar Zdravkovic was also broken into and an electric stove stolen, the Office recalled.

“Instead of having basic living conditions ensured and guaranteed security, with a series of attacks the message was sent to the Serb returnees that they are not welcome in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija”, the Office added. 

Gogic: By recognizing Kosovo, Greece would create itself problem with Cyprus (RTK2, Kosovo-online)

“I would be rather surprised if any of the five EU member states that do not recognize Kosovo would do so, in particular Greece”, political analyst Ognjen Gogic said, Kosovo-online portal reports.

He added by recognizing Kosovo, official Athens would get nothing, instead it would create itself a problem with Cyprus, asking if Cyprus would do the same afterwards.

“I think Greek refusal to recognize Kosovo all these years is primarily motivated by the fear of a precedent when it comes to Cyprus, that is one reason. The second one is that Greece with great attention follows Albanian issue in the Balkans, because when armed formations existed at the end of nineties and at the beginning of 2000, some of them had aspirations towards parts of Greece, they perceived as part of natural Albania”, Gogic said.

According to Gogic, the third and the most important issue is relation between Greece and Turkey, because Greece perceives Kosovo as a project of Turkey in the Balkans, and its recognition would disrupt the balance that exists between Greece and Turkey, and that is why I do not see why Greece would do so (recognize Kosovo), I would be rather surprised”, Gogic said.

Petkovic informed the French ambassador about the position of the Serbian people and the SOC in Kosovo (Kosovo Online)

The Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic talked today with the Ambassador of the Republic of France to Serbia, Jean-Louis Falconi, about the political and security situation in Kosovo and Belgrade’s efforts to reach a compromise solution in dialogue with Pristina, the statement said, portal Kosovo Online quoted.

The statement read that ”on that occasion, the director of the Office for KiM informed the French ambassador about the increasing attacks on Serbs and their property and the almost daily desecration and looting of Serbian churches and monasteries, emphasizing that 12 religious buildings of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo have been desecrated only in the last two months”. 

Petkovic reminded that every attack on Serbian shrines in Kosovo was accompanied by aggressive, anti-Serbian rhetoric of political leaders in Pristina, the portal reported.

He drew special attention to the position of the monastery Visoki Decani, part of the Serbian and world cultural heritage, which is on the list of the most endangered cultural monuments in Europe.

“Instead of denying the fact that Visoki Decani is endangered, the authorities in Pristina should implement the decision to return 24 hectares of confiscated monastery property and order the suspension of the construction of the highway next to the monastery, thus showing that it respects at least its own laws, if it does not trust international organizations,” Petkovic pointed out.

According to him, the “Kulti” plan, launched by the Kosovo police in order to protect the property of the SOC, “represents the culmination of hypocrisy and throwing dust in the eyes of the international community”.

“Those who burned, demolished and destroyed Serbian cultural treasures, churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija, cannot now protect and take care of them. Despite Pristina’s open obstruction and lack of interest in continuing the dialogue, Belgrade still believes that all open issues can be resolved only peacefully and at the negotiating table, and it shall continue to insist on that, although the non-fulfillment of the obligation to form the Community of Serbian Municipalities, with which Pristina is eight years late, is a great obstacle and challenge in the normalization process,” Petkovic concluded.

Simic, Ceranic with Szunyog on political situation, work of Assembly and challenges in Kosovo (TV Most)  

Serbian List (SL) caucus chief Igor Simic and SL MP Verica Ceranic in the Kosovo Assembly met on Thursday with the European Union Special Representative and the Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Tomas Szunyog and discussed the political situation, Assembly work plan and challenges in Kosovo, TV Most reports.

On that occasion, Simic reiterated that SL MPs in the Assembly protect the interests of their people and that they were ready to be supportive of positive changes.

He pointed out it was necessary to strengthen the security of Serbs south of the Ibar River, but also the Serbian Orthodox Church, and appealed to the representatives of the European Union to make efforts to implement the agreements reached between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the European Union.

In the meeting they also highlighted the need for responsible behavior of political leaders, dedicated work on respecting the rights of all communities and a stronger commitment to strengthening the rule of law.

Kurti learned a lesson, the right decision to give up reciprocity towards Serbia (Kosovo Online)

Political analyst Nexhmedin Spahiu told portal Kosovo Online that the Kosovo government should abandon the introduction of reciprocity with Serbia, because such a decision, according to him, was not in the spirit of true dialogue and reaching a final agreement.

“Giving up reciprocity is a good move, if we want to reconcile and get recognition from Serbia, then aggravating the situation and setting new obstacles is not in the spirit of finding a solution, but on the contrary,” Spahiu said.

Kosovo’s Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade Rozeta Hajdari said she did not want to immediately establish reciprocity with Serbia and stressed that “regional mechanisms” should be used to resolve the problems that exist between Kosovo and Serbia.

This statement was interpreted in Kosovo as a giving up from reciprocity, which also provoked objections against PM Albin Kurti, who advocated the introduction of reciprocity during the election campaign.

However, Spahiu believes that Prime Minister Kurti learned lessons from his previous term and that he has matured as a politician. In support of his positive change, he cites the fact that he has included dialogue among his first priorities. 

“If someone changes his attitude for the benefit of the public interest, it is a positive change. No matter what some politicians say, some things are in place, dialogue with Serbia is the number one priority for Kosovo. Our national interest is to solve the problem with the neighbor, because that is the biggest obstacle for the future international perspective, that is, Kosovo’s membership in international organizations,” Spahiu concluded.

Vucic with Botsan-Kharchenko: Difficult days await our country (Kosovo-online)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic thanked today Russian Ambassador to Serbian Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko for the latest delivery of Sputnik V vaccines that have been immediately included into the vaccination process, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Speaking about planned continuation of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Vucic said difficult days await Serbia, but he would make utmost efforts to protect in Brussels, same as in any other occasion, state and national interests and fight for compromise, the statement said.

Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko confirmed active support of Russia in defending international law norms, and thus territorial integrity of Serbia.

The interlocutors also agreed that policies of peace and cooperation are of utmost importance to further development of the Western Balkans.

They also touched upon progress in economic cooperation between Serbia and Russia, emphasizing that joint infrastructural projects follow agreed dynamics and would contribute to the economic progress of Serbia. 

Lajcak and Palmer next week in Belgrade also (Tanjug, Kosovo-online)

EU Special Envoy for Belgrade-Pristina talks Miroslav Lajcak would pay a working visit to Belgrade next week, Tanjug news agency said it learnt from diplomatic sources in Brussels.

The visit comes within the context of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue continuation that should take place mid June in Brussels. Lajcak should come to Belgrade in the second half of the next week, after his Pristina visit.

At the same time, as Tanjug further said, US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans Mathew Palmer would also visit Belgrade and Pristina. 

 

 

International

 

Mystery plans to redraw Balkan borders alarm leaders (BBC)

“Changing borders would mean opening Pandora’s box,” says Valentin Inzko.

As international High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina his job is to keep the peace, which has endured since the Dayton Peace Agreement brought conflict to an end in 1995, after almost four years of fighting that cost around 100,000 lives.

The cause of his consternation was a pair of unofficial documents suggesting some of the borders in the Balkans should be redrawn. The so-called non-papers made the rounds in diplomatic circles, before being picked up by media in the Western Balkans.

See more at:https://bbc.in/3c1nuk5

Is Kosovo taking a harder line with Serbia? (emerging-europe.com)

Dialogue between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo is at a standstill, with no movement since last year when both sides signed agreements with the United States regarding economic normalisation.

Kosovo officials have in recent weeks made a number of controversial claims and demands of both Serbia and international institutions such as UNESCO, signs that the country is taking a tougher stance in negotiations – currently stalled – with its neighbour.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3bV9gRV

Problems in Greek-Serbian relations over Kosovo? (greekcitytimes.com)

“Greece assures us that it will not recognise Kosovo,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said in a televised interview on Wednesday, sparking talks on Greece recognising Kosovo.

The rumors are not new, as information has been circulating from Pristina for the past two months that Greece is ready to recognise Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.

I have personally received several phone calls from colleagues in Pristina and Belgrade asking me to confirm or deny these rumours.

According to rumours, France is preparing through Emmanuel Macron to submit a proposal for an interim agreement, where Northern Kosovo and Metohija will gain autonomy, as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church a special status.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3fpc5N7

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Balkan countries are source of most of SO2 emissions in Europe (balkangreenenergynews.com)

Ukraine, Turkey and the Western Balkans topped the European charts in 2019 across all types of air pollutants from coal-fired thermal power plants, Ember found. Furthermore, over half of entire SO2 emissions originated in Southeastern Europe.

Coal power air pollution statistics highlight contributions from a small number of countries in Europe, energy think tank Ember said. Turkey and Ukraine rank within the top three polluting countries and Western Balkan countries are next in the list despite their relatively small sizes. According to data for 2019 presented in the research, 61.3% of industrial sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions came from Southeastern Europe.

See more at:https://bit.ly/3froHn2

Why we must show feminist solidarity with people on the long road West (Kosovo 2.0)

People taking the Balkan route toward western Europe routinely face violence and maltreatment. Addressing the root causes means moving beyond charity. 

In 2015, large numbers of people sought refuge in the north-western countries of Europe. Four years of the war in Syria had already resulted in at least 6 million refugees, but they weren’t alone. Refugees from Afghanistan, who did not have resolved status in Iran and Pakistan and were tired of waiting for their country to become peaceful and prosperous, joined the Syrians who undertook this perilous journey. The journey was also undertaken by people from war-torn Iraq and other Middle Eastern and North African countries who were exhausted by poverty and violence caused by Western imperialism and colonialism.

See more at:https://bit.ly/3uvUTtw

Kosovo reports alarming figures of domestic violence with a staggering 500 cases in 5 months (euronews.al)

Cases of domestic violence reported to the authorities, where the victims are women and children continue to be a major cause for concern in Kosovo.

According to a report by the State’s Prosecution Office, in just the first few months of 2021, an alarming 500 cases pertaining to domestic violence have been registered. The branch of UN Women in Kosovo also confirms this rising and troubling trend.

Basri Kastrati, reporting from the Office for the Protection and Support of Victims, affirms that the work needed to rehabilitate the abusers has become stagnant for quite some time now. According to Kastrati, it is detrimental that this matter is treated at the same level as helping and protecting the victims of this crime, in order to help prevent future incidents.

Kastrati is also certain that despite the work that is already in place, numbers continue to be scale-up, which is why according to him, the prevention of this phenomenon should start in the family and school system.

The director of the office of UN Women in Kosovo, Vlora Tuzi Nushi has also contributed to the dialogue by saying that information campaigns play a major role in the de-escalation of the situation by decreasing the number of cases and preventing acts of violence in general.

However, according to a study conducted by the Kosovar Center for Gender Issues, information amongst citizens isn’t lacking, but the problem lies in the mentality.

Representatives of public institutions agree that Kosovo has established a good legal framework and adequate mechanisms, but more needs to be done in terms of enforcing the laws, allocating a greater budget for cases of this nature, and acting quicker so that this phenomenon can cease to have a presence in the family lives of Kosovar citizens.

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