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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, June 13, 2024

Albanian Language Media

•    Kurti: Kosovo grateful to international friends and allies (Telegrafi)
•    Bislimi: I have information Borrell's report recommends lifting of measures (media)
•    Bislimi: We don’t send to court drafts and articles without ownership (Express)
•    Haxhiu calls on internationals to pressure Serbia over arrest of Kosovars (Koha)
•    Osmani travels to Skopje to attend SEECP summit (media)
•    Walker: Kosovo is an exceptional success story (Albanian Post)
•    Latest NDI poll: Major drop by Vetevendosje, PDK is second (Paparaci)
•    EU: Serbia cannot join EU without normalising relations with Kosovo (RFE)
•    The Geopost publishes “second surveillance between Shabani and Rosic” (media)
•    The village in south of Kosovo where Albanians and Serbs help each other (RFE)
•    Kusari comments on amendments to the IMC draft law (media)

Serbian Language Media: 

•    US Ambassador: Recognition of Kosovo will not be a condition for Serbia's entry into the EU, but normalisation (NMagazin, NIN)
•    "The deputy from Albania persistently tried to turn off the microphone of the deputies from Serbia": the Serbian delegation left the conference in Sarajevo (Danas,          FoNet,, Srna)
•    Milicevic: Embargo on goods from central Serbia and dinar issue affected small businesses and people (TV Most)
•    Lawyer: The defence attorneys are more than ready to prove Milun Milenkovic's innocence (TV Most)
•    Starovic: The issue of Kosovo’s status, when and if possible, Serbs and Albanians to discuss themselves directly (Kosovo Online)
•    Gasic meets with Jaqsylyqov in Astana (Tanjug)


•    Serwer: Mealy-mouthed won’t work, riot act will (


•    Kosovo hails NATO contribution as it celebrates quarter century of liberation (Prishtina Insight)
•    Brothers indeed: Kosovo Albanians share memories of sheltering displaced families during the war (Prishtina Insight)
•    Between gender and profession (Kosovo 2.0)
•    Albania, Kosovo launch eased local border traffic regime (See News)
•    Easyjet to launch two routes to Pristina (See News)

Albanian Language Media  

Kurti: Kosovo grateful to international friends and allies (Telegrafi)

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said today that “it is never enough to express our appreciation and honour for all those that sacrificed themselves for freedom” and that Kosovo is “grateful to its international friends and allies”. He said that before today’s meeting of the government, he met with William Walker, former chief of the OSCE Verification Mission during the war in Kosovo. “This exceptional man was the one who raised the voice against the injustices and atrocities that were happening here. The reports from the ground served as a call for the international conscience and they triggered their reaction. Those evidence were the catalysts that led to the intervention of NATO,” he said.

Bislimi: I have information Borrell's report recommends lifting of measures (media)

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister and chief negotiator in the EU-facilitated talks with Serbia, Besnik Bislimi, said today that EU High Representative Josep Borrell’s report is expected to recommend the lifting of EU’s penalty measures against Kosovo. In his report to the Kosovo Assembly’s Committee on European Integration, Bislimi said that Borrell’s report has been ready since April but there has been some hesitation to submit it to the EU Council. “There has been hesitation to submit , because there seem to have been some individuals who are interested in postponing the lifting of measures against Kosovo and as a result to damage Kosovo,” he said.
Bislimi also said that “the report should have been submitted two days ago, but one part of the Commission has asked for its postponement, and I believe it will be submitted for approval to the Council next week. The content of the report, as far as I know, is positive and it will recommend the lifting of measures”.

Bislimi: We don’t send to court drafts and articles without ownership (Express)

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister, Besnik Bislimi, said today that the Kosovo government will not send to the Constitutional Court the draft on the Association of Serb-majority municipalities because “it has no signature or ownership”. “Kosovo has met all the requirements that the Council of Europe has asked from Kosovo. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe too has said that Kosovo deserved to be a full member because it has met all the criteria. Then there were criteria that stemmed from the request of the European Commission which were refused by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, such as the request to send a draft that is neither a draft nor a document because it has no signature or ownership. Until now several addresses have said that that is their draft. We don’t send to the Constitutional Court headlines of newspapers or opinions or drafts that have no ownership,” he argued.

Murati: Kosovo aims for normalisation and mutual recognition with Serbia (media)

Kosovo’s Minister for Finance, Hekuran Murati, said today that Kosovo aims for normalisation of relations with Serbia and mutual recognition. “Through our participation in the dialogue, we are committed to reach an agreement aiming for the normalisation of relations and mutual recognition. This is only in relation to Serbia. As far as other issues are concerned, we are continuing to work on strengthening Kosovo’s subjectivity,” he said.

Haxhiu calls on internationals to pressure Serbia over arrest of Kosovars (Koha)

Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, said today that Kosovo’s international partners should put pressure on Serbia to stop arresting people from Kosovo that travel through its territory. She argued that Serbia is continuing to arrest innocent people on political basis. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the office there has been in continuous communication with them and their families. This is nothing new. It is a continuation of Serbia’s wicked and political objectives against Kosovo. Our institutions have been in continuous communication, but it does not depend on Kosovo if they will be released. As it has done in the past, Serbia continues to keep innocent people in prison. We are not surprised by Serbia’s actions, but we call on our international partners to put pressure on Serbia so that it stops these actions. Kosovo has never made arrests on political grounds,” Haxhiu told reporters after the government meeting today.

Osmani travels to Skopje to attend SEECP summit (media)

Most news websites report that Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani travelled to Skopje today where she will attend the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit of leaders. The summit will discuss furthering cooperation between countries in the region and international partners to guarantee peace, security, stability, economic, political, and social development in the region.

Walker: Kosovo is an exceptional success story (Albanian Post)

Former chief of the OSCE Verification Mission in Kosovo, William Walker, said after meeting Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Pristina today, that Kosovo has achieved great success in the last 24 years. “Kosovo is an exceptional success story in what it has achieved in the last 25 years. I am here as a friend of Kosovo and of Prime Minister Kurti,” he said.

Walker said that “the main merits for Kosovo’s success go to the Kosovars for what they have done so far, as well as to Prime Minister Kurti and to previous prime ministers”. 
Walker also commended the Kosovo Police for being “an extraordinary police force”.

Latest NDI poll: Major drop by Vetevendosje, PDK is second (Paparaci)

The news website reports that the latest poll by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows that the Kurti-led Vetevendosje Movement has suffered a major drop compared to the result it had in the February 2021 general elections. According to the poll, in the event of new general elections, Vetevendosje would win 36 percent of the vote, which is a drop by around 14 percent compared to the 2021 election. The poll also showed that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) would win 26 percent of the vote, while the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) would win 24 percent. The Haradinaj-led Alliance for the Future of Kosovo would win 10 percent of the vote.

EU: Serbia cannot join EU without normalising relations with Kosovo (RFE)

Serbia cannot become a member of the European Union without normalising its relations with Kosovo, EU spokesperson Peter Stano told Radio Free Europe today. “The Ohrid agreement makes it very clear: if there is no progress on the normalisation, there will be no progress on the membership negotiations,” he said. 
The news website notes that Stano’s statement comes after U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade, Christopher Hill, said in an interview with Belgrade-based NIN, that the formal recognition of Kosovo would not be a condition for Serbia joining the EU.

The European Union however did not say clearly if Kosovo’s formal recognition would be a condition for Serbia, and Stano reiterated that the position of the bloc on this issue remains unchanged. “The position of the EU on this matter has not changed and remains the same, as it was said in the past and as has been outlined in the membership criteria,” he said.

Stano also said that “the agreement on the path to normalisation is valid and fully binding for both Kosovo and Serbia. This also includes Article 4. Serbia’s lobbying against Kosovo is a clear violation of this agreement”.

The Geopost publishes “second surveillance between Shabani and Rosic” (media)

Most news websites report on what is believed to be “the second surveillance”, a conversation between Bedri Shabani, who has recently been arrested on espionage charges, and Srdjan Rosic, an alleged officer of the Serbian Intelligence Agency (BIA). The surveillance was originally published by The Geopost. The news website notes that “the conversation confirms that they physically met a few days earlier. According to the data, the physical meeting between Shabani and the BIA officer took place in the city of Nis, Serbia, on 17.05.2023. According to the phone call, made on 23.05.2023, it is learned that Rosic has professional connections with ‘another friend’, Bogoljub Janicijevic, who was the head of the so-called ‘Secretariat of Internal Affairs’ for Ferizaj in 1999. During the conversation, it is revealed that on the day of the meeting with the BIA in Nis, Shabani had handed over three texts. The audio is censored, and it is unknown what those texts are! For this, Shabani had asked, ‘if he had the chance to see them before?’ to which Rosic responds with ‘no’.”

The village in south of Kosovo where Albanians and Serbs help each other (RFE)

The village of Biti e Ulet/Donja Bitinja in the municipality of Strpce has turned into a symbol of coexistence between Serbs and Albanians, the news website reports. In addition to showing mutual respect and spending time together on a daily basis, they also help each other whenever necessary, including in the works around the village.

See more at:

Kusari comments on amendments to the IMC draft law (media)

Flutra Kusari, Pristina-based media lawyer and senior legal advisor to the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, took to X today to say that “Kosovo’s Assembly is amending the draft law on the Independent Media Commission (Kosovo’s most complex & important media law). It is shocking that 83% of Council of Europe recommendations have been ignored during the legislative process by members of parliament. The changes proposed by the government are very similar to the ones the Albanian government proposed a couple of years ago via the so-called Anti-Defamation package. The draft law submitted by the government to the assembly was prepared in secret despite repeated requests from civil society members to contribute and be consulted. Likewise, the parliament refused to work closely and in a meaningful way with civil society and organized only one public hearing just for the sake of saying it conducted public consultation”. Read the full post at:

Petrit Selimi, former Foreign Minister of Kosovo, shared Kusari’s post adding that “Kosovo democracy is strong. We have frequent changes of governments. Media scene is freer than in the region. But this may all change if the ruling party is allowed to push a media law stifling freedom of speech. It’s a ludicrous attempt that can’t pass basic checks and balances”.

Serbian Language Media

US Ambassador: Recognition of Kosovo will not be a condition for Serbia's entry into the EU, but normalisation (NMagazin, NIN)

The US ambassador in Belgrade, Christopher Hill, expressed his belief that the formal recognition of Kosovo will not be a condition for Serbia's entry into the European Union (EU), but rather the normalisation of relations with Pristina, reported portal NMagazin.

In an interview for today's edition of the Belgrade based weekly NIN, Hill said that the Europeans are asking Belgrade "exactly what they say they are asking for, which is normalisation" and added that the EU wants peace and security in the region, certainly and between Kosovo and Serbia.

"I think they have said very clearly that there are EU members who do not recognize Kosovo, so the real question is to try to reach normalisation where those borders will not be borders that divide, but borders that connect, borders that really connect them," said Hill.

He said that the US supports Serbia's aspirations to become a member of the EU and is trying to help it "in that endeavour, because it is quite clear that Serbia will be in the European Union in the future".

Hill said that the USA "made it very clear" that they would like Serbia to join the sanctions against Russia, but added that Serbia "has also taken some important steps to make it clear to Russia that it does not agree with the aggression that that country committed against its neighbour".

"We have a very good dialogue with Serbia. And, yes, Serbia has taken some very concrete measures to let Russia know that what it has done in Ukraine cannot be sustained. And sooner or later Russia will have to reach a peace agreement and withdraw from Ukraine. So, I think we get along well with Serbia," said Hill.

Regarding the relations between the USA and Serbia, Hill said that "they have a very good dialogue, although they do not agree on everything, for example on Kosovo".

"But we agree on the necessity of peace and security in Europe. And I think we agree very much on the fact that Russian aggression against Ukraine needs to stop. So, I think we have a lot to build on. And what I would like to see is that we do more. I think our two nations have a lot in common. And I would like to see the ties that will strengthen in the coming years," he said.

On the occasion of the "All-Serb Assembly", Hill said that "everyone must understand that the Dayton Agreement is the basis of the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the territorial integrity of the entities within BiH and that those elements of Dayton must be respected by all parties".

Hill expressed the hope that the armed conflict between the Serbian paramilitary group and the Kosovo police, in the village of Banjska in September 2023, "will come to court" and that "there will be some responsibility for what happened."

"It certainly wasn't a day that helped Serbian interests, and it certainly didn't help American-Serbian relations either," Hill added.

He also said that the US is "very disappointed" that there are again two people in the Government of Serbia who are under US sanctions - Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Minister without portfolio Nenad Popovic.

"Look, I have to look at what's the best way forward for the things we're trying to do with the Government of Serbia. And when you comment on individuals in the Government of Serbia, I'm not sure that's the best way forward. We've certainly expressed our views on those two individuals, and I think that I will put it aside and continue with what I am doing here," he added.

Asked about the criticism directed at him by opposition leader Dragan Djilas for his statement that there was no voter migration in the June 2 local elections, despite the fact that Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik voted in the local elections in Belgrade, Hill said that Serbia "certainly has some issues that should be resolved in the elections" and added that "he thinks there has been progress since December".

"And as for Mr. Djilas, I really don't like to communicate with people through the media, I'd rather do it directly. I think it's much more efficient and much more honest to do that," said the American diplomat.

Regarding the animosity, mistrust and bitterness that exists toward the US over the 1999 NATO bombing, Hill said that "everything can change" but that "it often more is needed than you would like."

"I would never ask people to ignore the past, but you know, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our children's children, we really should try to spend more time looking forward than looking back. That's why we have eyes in the front of our heads, not in the back of our heads," he said.
Hill said that he likes many things in Serbia and that he and his wife Julie "enjoy it very much".

"We have many friends. We enjoy the atmosphere in Serbia. The only thing we don't enjoy is when people are pessimistic. I think there is much to be thankful and optimistic about in this country,’’ added Hill.

"The deputy from Albania persistently tried to turn off the microphone of the deputies from Serbia": the Serbian delegation left the conference in Sarajevo (Danas, FoNet,, Srna)

Deputy Chairperson of the Joint Commission for Defense and Security of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radovan Kovacevic, said that together with the members of the delegation of the Assembly of Serbia, he left the annual meeting of representatives of the defence and security commissions of the parliaments of Southeast Europe in Sarajevo, reported Danas.

Kovacevic told RTRS that this ''was done because the member of the Croatian Parliament, Zdravka Busic, said that Kosovo is an independent state'' and announced that it will soon be admitted to the Council of Europe, cited Danas. Kovacevic said that at one of the sessions the representatives of Pristina were allowed to speak about that topic, although UN Security Council Resolution 1244 states that temporary institutions have no right to any defence sector, nor to say anything about that sector. According to his words, the representatives of the Serbian delegation filed a protest and requested a position from the directorate of the Regional Center for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC).
Kovacevic told Srna that Busic apologised later to the Serbian delegation and that the director of RACVIAC distanced himself from her controversial statement, after which he and the members of the Serbian delegation returned and participated in the further work of the conference.

The RACVIAC Directorate confirmed that the representatives of Kosovo, which was present with a star, should not talk about defence, but they stated that this is about parliamentary oversight and that is why they are allowed to express their position, according to Kovacevic.

For the portal, Kovacevic denied the statement of the representative of Kosovo, Arber Rexhaj, that the representatives of Serbia tried to interrupt the presentation of the representative from Kosovo by banging their hands on the table and turning off the microphone.

"That is completely untrue. What happened was that the deputy from Albania persistently tried to turn off the microphone of the deputies from Serbia, which I warned about and asked the technical service to pay attention, because this should not happen in the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH,'' Kovacevic said.

Milicevic: Embargo on goods from central Serbia and dinar issue affected small businesses and people (TV Most)

Kosovo Government’s decision to ban import of goods from central Serbia is contrary to any market principles, including the laws in force in Kosovo, as well as the policies implemented by the European Union for 30 years, which imply free flow of goods and capital, Miodrag Milicevic from Mitrovica North-based non-governmental organisation Aktiv said, TV Most reported.

"The decision directly affects not only the importers of the goods but also the end consumers, including each of us individually, because we are forced to buy goods that we are not sure are appropriate and whether they are suitable for people who have health problems", he added.

He emphasised the decision of Kosovo Government to ban import of Serbian goods was oral only, and that the silence of the domestic and international public is very bad, because the negative effects are very large.

"The majority of small businessmen were directly affected by this measure, so that in the north of Kosovo, numerous retail establishments were closed. We also have a decline in the flow of funds and transactions, including the decision to abolish the dinar", he said, adding that people are faced with a very bad situation both in terms of the environment they live in and a weakened economy, which has been on the wane for decades.

Lawyer: The defence attorneys are more than ready to prove Milun Milenkovic's innocence (TV Most)

Milun Milenkovic was arrested exactly one year ago in the northern part of Mitrovica, on suspicion of having committed “a criminal act of terrorism”. He is suspected of allegedly throwing two shock bombs and two hand grenades at the office of the municipal election commission in the northern part of Mitrovica together with three other persons. Following his arrest, he was sent to detention, for one month initially, and then his detention was extended to two months each, and continues up to date. Since his arrest, Milenkovic has been in the high-risk detention unit in Podujevo, TV Most reports.

The preliminary hearing for the trial of four Serbs “suspected of terrorism” - Milenkovic, Dejan Pantic, Aleksandar Vlajic and Miomir Vakic - was held on January 30 in the Basic Court in Pristina. The defendants emphasised that they understood the indictment and pleaded not guilty to the criminal offence charged against them.

Milun Milenkovic's defence attorney, lawyer Predrag Miljkovic, in a statement for TV Most, reminds that the defence requested on several occasions to replace the measure of custody, at one point and the measure of bail together with house arrest, which the Special Court in Pristina refused.

Miljkovic explained that currently, the procedure is in the phase of confirming the indictment, so the Special Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against these four persons on December 13 last year.

"However, the indictment has not yet entered into legal force due to the fact that we, as the defence attorneys, submitted objections to the evidence and objections to the indictment, that is, the so-called request to dismiss the indictment”, he said, adding that court rejected our objections, but we filed an appeal against that court decision and we are currently waiting for the decision of the Appellate Court on whether this indictment will gain legal force, that is, whether it will enter into legal force. Milenkovic's lawyer says that, if the appeals are rejected and the indictment gains legal force, the next trial from that decision will be scheduled in the next 15 days.
"As defence attorneys, we are more than ready for the trial to begin and we are ready to fight and prove the innocence of our client Milun Milenkovic, i.e. that he did not undertake a single action that day that could be considered even the most common assault or destruction or damage to property, let alone that he undertook some kind of terrorist act", underlined Miljkovic.

Starovic: The issue of Kosovo’s status, when and if possible, Serbs and Albanians to discuss themselves directly (Kosovo Online)

Major foreign actors have an interest in maintaining a certain level of instability here to manage processes on the ground more easily, and what they have always liked least is any attempt at agreement by the Balkan peoples themselves and their joint action, Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran, and Social Affairs Nemanja Starovic said in an interview for Kontext podcast, reported Kosovo Online in English.

"I won't mention specific countries, and you'll understand why I can't, but as a historian, I always try to view things over a longer historical period and those influences of major foreign factors. If we look at the perspective of the normalisation process between Belgrade and Pristina, but also between the Serbian and Albanian people in a broader sense, I think that in this process we can and must strive for normalisation precisely in the mandate that the European Union received from the United Nations General Assembly. This means normalisation of relations in terms of everyday life and functioning", Starovic emphasised.

Read more at:

Gasic meets with Jaqsylyqov in Astana (Tanjug)

Serbian Defence Minister Bratislav Gasic met on Thursday in Astana with Kazakh Defence Minister Col Gen Ruslan Jaqsylyqov to discuss the global political and security situation and bilateral military cooperation and its advancement. Gasic said the visit to Astana, his first official trip abroad as Serbia's defence minister, was an indicator of friendly relations between the two peoples and the two countries.

Gasic added that Belgrade was extremely grateful to Kazakhstan for its principled position and support for the preservation of Serbia's territorial integrity and protection of its national interests. He said Serbia was committed to peaceful resolution of all issues through political dialogue with Pristina, with full respect of UNSCR 1244 and the Military-Technical Agreement, and noted that Serbia would never recognise unilaterally declared Kosovo independence.


Serwer: Mealy-mouthed won’t work, riot act will (

In an opinion piece originally published on, U.S. political commentator on the Balkans, Daniel Serwer, commented on the declaration recently adopted by the Pan-Serbian Assembly in Belgrade.

The Declaration is what it says it is

The Declaration is the product of an effort to institutionalize pan-Serb institutions in an Assembly (to meet every two years) and a National Council of the Serbian People. The Assembly includes representatives of the widespread Serb diaspora. But the Council is constituted of officials from the Republic of Serbia (Belgrade) and the Bosnian entity Republika Srpska (headquartered in Banja Luka). The purpose of their cooperation is spelled out:
The Pan-Serbian Assembly recommends that the institutions of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska act unitedly and in coordination and make efforts to stop the assimilation of Serbs in the countries of the region, as well as around the world.

The Assembly also recognizes the Serbian Orthodox Church as a pillar of “national, cultural, and spiritual identity.” It supports Serbia in efforts to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, declaring Kosovo and Metohija “inalienable.”

The Assembly also wants reversion in Bosnia to the Dayton peace agreements as signed. That means without the many decisions the High Representative, the Sarajevo parliament, and the entity assemblies have made since 1995. The Declaration explicitly challenges the appointment of the current High Representative.
Greater Serbia by another name

I could go on, but essentially this document is a manifesto for the Serbian World, or Greater Serbia. The references to the broader Serb diaspora are a thin veil. Most Serbs who live in Australia are already “assimilated.” They vote in elections there, serve in its armed forces and other Australian institutions, and describe themselves as Australian, even while preserving their identity as Serbs.

The real purpose of this declaration is to prevent Serbs in the neighbouring countries (Bosnia, Montenegro, and Kosovo) from professing and acting on loyalty to the countries in which they live. That is a prerequisite for any future union, which is the ultimate Serb aim. The good news is that someone thinks the Serbs might be loyal to the countries in which they live.

Read more at:


Kosovo hails NATO contribution as it celebrates quarter century of liberation (Prishtina Insight)

Kosovo leaders observed a parade of military and police forces in Prishtina’s city centre on the 25th anniversary of the country’s liberation.
Military and police forces paraded through Prishtina’s main squares on Wednesday as Kosovo marked the 25th anniversary of liberation from Serbia, a pivotal moment in the country’s history and the end of a devastating war with over 13,000 casualties.

Many different events were held throughout Kosovo to honour the 25th anniversary of NATO ground troops first entering the country after a 78-day aerial bombardment which expelled Serbian forces. Thousands of troops from the military alliance remain in Kosovo to ensure peace and stability.

There were more than 13,000 casualties during the Kosovo war.

Kosovo Military Parading through Prishtina main square on June 12, 2024, Photo: BIRN

Former US President Bill Clinton, via a post on X, emphasised that the NATO air campaign ended repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
“Twenty-five years ago, the United States led NATO Allies in an air campaign that successfully expelled Serbian forces, ending a decade of repression and a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, bringing the war in Kosovo to an end. Today I am giving thanks for 25 years of peace in Kosovo,” Clinton wrote.

Kosovo Prime minister Albin Kurti stated that June 12 “evokes a multitude of emotions for the people of Kosovo, the foremost being relief, joy, and hope”.

Read more at:

Brothers indeed: Kosovo Albanians share memories of sheltering displaced families during the war (Prishtina Insight)

Some hosted and some were sheltered; the doors which opened during the Kosovo war are never forgotten, nor is the taste of the bread shared amidst fear and anxiety.
The sack of flour, the tractor, and the rooms once used as oda,  traditional Albanian guest rooms, evoke memories of a lifelong friendship and the common home shared by Abazi, Rama, Salihu, and Fatmir during the war. For two of them, it was a house with deeds, and for the other two, it was a house of God, a friend, and the war.
These four men, from four different parts of the country, first met while fleeing their homes during the Kosovo war of 1998-1999. At the time they were young men with small children, and all they sought was a safe place for themselves and their families. The light in their eyes still carries the memory of each other and the door that opened to them in their darkest hour.

Salih Morina, 63, from the village of Gllareva in the municipality of Kline, and Ramë Hamiti, 57,  from the village of  Vajnikë in the municipality of Skenderaj, are just two of the thousands of  Kosovo Albanians who were forced to leave their homeland because of the brutal offensives carried out by the Milosevic regime.. The two men returned after a few months to rebuild their lives from scratch.

Read more at:

Between gender and profession (Kosovo 2.0)

When it comes to the challenges of journalism, gender cannot be overlooked.

On May 3, 2024, World Press Freedom Day, the nongovernmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its annual index on the state of press freedom worldwide. This index measures countries’ performance based on five indicators: political, legal, economic, socio-cultural and security contexts. In the political context indicator, the 2024 index recorded a global decline of 7.8 points.

However, beyond the global situation, one aspect of the report that sparked significant discussion was Kosovo’s position, which fell from 56th place in 2023 to 75th place. “Media freedom is threatened by politicized regulation, lawsuits to silence criticism, insufficient access to information, and an increase in physical attacks,” stated the index page about Kosovo.

The report prompted extensive discussion, especially on social media. Opinions ranged from calling for increased efforts to improve the environment for journalists to attempting to discredit and delegitimize the findings as false. People who subscribed to the latter opinion adopted an antagonistic approach toward journalists in Kosovo, using language that has unfortunately almost become common: calling journalists “deceivers” and saying they have been “captured.”

However, amid this discussion, the opportunity was missed to engage in a deeper and more critical reflection on journalism in Kosovo. This type of discussion is necessary and beneficial for both journalists and society, pushing beyond the numbers and rankings in the index.

Read more at:

Albania, Kosovo launch eased local border traffic regime (See News)

Albania’s interior minister Taulant Balla said on Wednesday an eased local border traffic regime between Albania and Kosovo has been established.

The regime allows residents within a 30-kilometre radius on either side of the border to cross more freely at designated border crossing points, Balla said in a social media post.

According to an agreement signed between the two countries in 2022, residents in the near-border areas will no longer need to prove their purpose of travel or financial capabilities if they show a specific permit.

They must not stay in the neighbouring country more than 90 days.

There are eleven border crossings included in the agreement.

Easyjet to launch two routes to Pristina (See News)

British low-cost airline Easyjet will launch two routes linking Kosovo's capital Pristina to Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Milan in Italy, it said.

The twice-weekly service to Amsterdam will start on October 28, while the Milan service, also operating twice a week, will begin on September 7, Easyjet’s website shows.

The new flights to Milan via Malpensa airport will complement Easyjet's existing services to Milan's Linate and Bergamo airports.

Easyjet is also servicing flights connecting Pristina with Basel and Geneva in Switzerland, and Berlin in Germany, according to its website.