Rapporteur in the EP: Kosovo does not have legitimacy to enter the municipal buildings in the north

2023-05-28 16:53:45, Kosova & Bota CNA

Rapporteur in the EP: Kosovo does not have legitimacy to enter the municipal

The rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon, says that she understands that the new Albanian mayors of the municipalities in the north of Kosovo, inhabited by a Serbian majority, may have the right to exercise their functions.

However, von Cramon tells Radio Free Europe that if their entry into municipal buildings will only be made with the presence of heavily armed police forces, then they have "zero political legitimacy".

"I think a lot of things go wrong in this country if this is the reality, if we see armored cars, heavily armed police, special units guarding municipal buildings 24/7, we really need to think about other possibilities and other options. At least this is not what we and the EU have in mind. I know it's a difficult situation, as I said before, the Government may have something else in mind, but how it implemented it is not in line with everything, at least we in the EU would like to see", says she.

*Video: Tensions in the north on May 26

According to the senior European official, a solution is needed that would also include the local residents, after the increase in tensions in the north of Kosovo, when groups of local Serbs on May 26 opposed the entry into the municipal buildings of the new Albanian mayors of Zveçan, Leposaviq and Zubin. Potok.

Kosovo police assisted their entry into the offices and clashed with local Serbs, who threw stones at the police forces. Police responded with stun grenades and tear gas, as five police officers were reported injured and several of their cars burned.

“We cannot simply enforce the right to enter a municipal building, even if de jure you have the right to do so. But, de facto, I don't think there is legitimacy to do something like that", says Viola von Cramon.

The international community has strongly condemned the actions of Kosovo, asking it to escalate the situation. The EU has requested that Prishtina not take unilateral actions, while the United States has requested that Kosovo immediately stop "violent measures".

Von Cramon met on May 28 with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti. While the European official refuses to reveal the details of the meeting, she says that she and the Kosovar Prime Minister have different views on the situation in the north.

"I think we are at a crucial point on how to proceed if the situation continues like this. That we are all very concerned and you have seen the strong statement from the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, of QUINT, of our embassy. So, I think that the entire international community condemns this action in the strongest possible way", she says.

Von Cramon is visiting municipalities in the north of Kosovo. She was asked if she will meet with the representatives of the Serbian List, but she said that this party - which is the largest party of Serbs in Kosovo and enjoys the support of official Belgrade - has refused to meet with her.

"In the morning I met with many representatives, but unfortunately the Serbian List refused to meet me. I don't know the reason for this, I would be very happy to meet them", she says.

Kosovo police told Radio Free Europe that for the second day in a row, the situation in the north is calm and stable. From this institution, they also said that the police are continuing to guard the municipal buildings.

The four new mayors of the municipalities in the north - including the one of North Mitrovica who went to his office without a problem, because the municipal building is separated from the building where the Serbian parallel institutions operate in this municipality - were elected in the elections of local emergency held on April 23.

The elections in these municipalities inhabited by Serb majority were held after the resignation of the mayors from the ranks of the Serbian List in November last year.

This party abandoned all the institutions of Kosovo, due to the decision of the Government in Pristina to carry out the process of re-registration of cars with illegal Serbian license plates.

The elections were boycotted by the majority Serb population in that area, which now does not accept the results, namely the new mayors.

Participation in the April elections was 3.47 percent of the total number of registered voters.

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