A roundtable with civil society representatives was held yesterday in Mitrovica North, within the framework of the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, Kontakt plus radio reported.
Serbian Government Office for Kosovo Deputy Director Dušan Kozarev, Director of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society Žarko Stepanović, Kosovo Minister for Communities and Returns, Dalibor Jevtic and Mitrovica North Mayor Goran Rakic also attended the roundtable.
Radio Kontakt Plus reported that the biggest fear of 25 NGOs’ representatives from all over Kosovo was related to the decrease of number of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.
During the meeting it was said that 50% of the population in the northern Kosovo does not see themselves in this area in five years’ time, and that a disturbing percentage- 80% of young people do not plan their future in this area. These are the results of surveys conducted by NGOs, and the reasons for such a trend were security related issues and economic insecurity.
Civil society representatives also spoke about issues related to obtaining personal and travel documents, youth employment, health and education systems, judiciary and many other topics.
Following the roundtable, Dušan Kozarev told reporters it was commendable that the non-governmental sector in Kosovo and Metohia was on an exceptional level.
He expressed satisfaction that the civil society approached the topic of Community of Serb Municipalities very rationally and they supported that “what was agreed in Brussels should be applied in practice” for the sake of a “better perspective and greater confidence in the future”.
Director of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, Žarko Stepanović said that the discussion was very useful for the entire process of the internal dialogue, adding his office would continue to cooperate with the organizations that were present at the roundtable.
Mayor of the North Mitrovica, Goran Rakić emphasized the importance of the civil sector in Kosovo, and announced he would support the initiative of its representatives to meet with the local government representatives at least quarterly.