Stephan Albani, Bundestag MP from the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), warns that abrogation of the Special Court could lead to freezing of the EU perspective for Kosovo.
He said that he was very happy when German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned integration and support for Balkans among the main points of this legislature.
“However, I wanted to stress that this is like a 100 meter run. At its end, European integration is decided, not after 90 or 80 meters, but after 100. We can help people in Balkans, concretely Kosovo, to go through this path faster. This requires readiness, but the 100 meter road cannot be shortened,” Albani said.
Asked about how he sees the initiative of the 43 Kosovo Assembly MPs to abrogate the Law on specialist chambers, Albani said “Not that positively. But I think that in the meantime they understood that warnings of the international community are very clear. This is not the right way for Kosovo and it has massively affected sympathy for Kosovo and it damaged it politically.”
Asked what would happen if this process continues until abrogation, Albani said that this would have been a step in a completely wrong direction. “There are efforts from all sides to give Kosovo a perspective on European direction, and if things go that far, this would isolate Kosovo. We are relatively certain that Kosovo’s EU perspective would face consequences, and if the situation requires it, this perspective can also freeze.
Deutsche Welle further asked Albani why the international community cooperated for so long with significant political figures, when media speculate now that they could be in the list of those to be tried at the Special Court.
“What does cooperation mean? When negotiations or discussions take place, those from the other party are those that they are for the moment. I am personally not aware of concrete accusations and I do not want to continue to speculate,” he said.
Asked if he considers that certain arrests could lead to loss of peace in Kosovo, Albani said he believes that authorities in Kosovo will assure unimpeded work of the Special Court .
Albani did not want to speculate on Oliver Ivanovic’s murder and the situation in Mitrovica North. “It is essential to shed legal light, find perpetrators that would face justice. This is of importance not only about how will be Kosovo seen in the world, but for the peace in the country and on moving finally forward with the normalization process between Kosovo and Serbia.”
He said he is not satisfied with postponement of the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. “There has been a year and a half that I am head of the parliamentary group for South-Eastern Europe at Bundestag, I see that normalization process is not moving forward…
DW asked Albani where he sees the obstacles on these discussions. “The obstacles are those, when on one hand the things that have to be done are described on paper, but they are not implemented in practice, so they do not make those decisions their own. Germany will play its role for the EU to continue to engage as much as possible on the process of normalization, to move forward not only on paper, but on implementation in practical policy, in order to vitalize these decisions. So when we speak about the processes of the legal state, about the demarcation with Montnegro, I have met several Kosovo delegations and I have made it clear that they have to make sure that the government and opposition is doing their job properly, for the parliamentary processes to become a reality and finally normalization of relations to implement, not only on paper and in minds but also in practice.
Speaking about liberalization of visas for Kosovo, Albani said that it is directly related to the normalization process but especially to the issue of the demarcation with Montenegro. ‘What disappointed me the most is that this agreement was approved by the government, but not ratified by the Assembly. This has to be done,” Albani concluded.