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Nataliya Apostolova: The time needed for ZSO (RTK2)

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Members of the Serbian List met with the head of the EU office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova. During the meeting, they explained how they will perform in this assembly, and pointed out the key problems that Serbs from Kosovo are facing, reports RTK2.

They also stressed the importance of implementing the agreements reached in Brussels, first of all those relating to the establishment of the Community/Association of Serb Municipalities (ZSO). The other side, RTK2 reports, told them that this process will need time, but that it is necessary to start with it as soon as possible.

What is important for the deputies of the Serbian List is that the issue of forming the Kosovo Army is not being actualized, because as they say, their position on this issue is clear, RTK2 reports.

“Kosovo has bigger problems, problems that need to be solved, and we have many agreements that have been reached in Brussels that need to be implemented, rather than to deal with topics that are not currently of crucial importance,” said Deputy Speaker Slavko Simic.

“Of course the Association of Municipalities with a Serb majority is something that must be implemented. Let’s be honest, time will be needed for the establishment of this, let’s say, organization, but I agree with you that a start is needed. I tried to initiate it with the previous government, but I believe that there is a sincere will with this government. We forwarded our message to the prime minister, but now the concentration is on the local elections, and afterwards we will work more carefully on this issue,” said Apostolova.

The head of the EU office in Kosovo assesses that a dialogue is necessary in the process of transforming the Security Forces into the Kosovo Army, RTK2 reports.

“It depends on both sides, how they will talk, how they will find ways to solve these sensitive issues,” Apostolova said.

The most problematic for the members of the Serbian List currently is the Property Verification Act, as well as the Law on Notaries, because there is only one notary of Serbian nationality in the territory of Kosovo, while there are no Serbs among the executors.

The position of the deputies is that the laws are well-drafted, however implementation is questionable, especially the Civil Service Law and the Law on the Use of Official Languages.

Chairman of the Committee on Communities, Igor Simic, says that laws related to the interests and rights of communities are good, however, there is a problem with administrative instructions that are later adopted by individual ministries.

“Specifically, the administrative guide I have provided you says what documents are needed to acquire citizenship and the right to documents, the right to exist in a system. It says, for example, that if you have lived in Kosovo for five years, it is enough that you have a pupil’s booklet certified by the appropriate authorities. In the municipality of North Mitrovica, civil servants working in the civil registry do not abide by this instruction, by unilateral decision, and that is why we have a problem that many citizens cannot exercise certain rights, “said Simic.

As the government has adopted a new draft budget, it is expected that it will be forwarded to the assembly. The MPs of the Serbian List emphasized that non-majority communities should not seek funds for certain projects from the Ministry of Communities and Returns.

“The representatives of non-majority communities should understand and to think in such a way that all ministries are equally accessible to them and that depending on the project, they have the appropriate ministry,” said the leader of the Serbian List   in the Assembly, Sasa Milosavljevic.

The EU Office in Kosovo has developed several projects related to the return process.

“This is not an easy process, it’s not just infrastructure and the ability to lead a life, the important thing is security, and in our projects we will take this into account,” said Apostolova.

Apostolova says that the European Union has several priorities to work with the authorities. Among them are the education and the use of the official language, because a good translation will be necessary for judges who begin to work in the north of Kosovo. She stressed that cases of usurped property of non-majority communities must be addressed. Apostolova stated that on November 16 the EU will assess the implementation of reforms in Kosovo during this year, which, in her opinion, is already delayed due to the elections.


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