How many draft statutes have been drawn up for the Association?

2023-06-09 09:34:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

How many draft statutes have been drawn up for the Association?

There are currently four draft statutes and draft visions for the implementation of the Agreement on the Association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, which Pristina and Belgrade reached ten years ago.

The international community insists that Kosovo establish the Association - which would gather around itself the municipalities in Kosovo, inhabited by a majority of Serbs - and its establishment, by the international factor, has been seen as a "condition on conditions" in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia for the normalization of reports, which is mediated by the European bloc.

The Government of Kosovo has so far refused to establish the Association, on the grounds that the broad powers of the Association would threaten the internal functionality of the state. However, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, has presented a draft vision for "self-management of the Serbian community".

The establishment of the Association is a constant request of Serbia, but also of the Serbian List - the main party of the Serbs in Kosovo, which has the support of the official Belgrade.

Below you can learn more about the existing draft statutes for the establishment of the Association:

Draft statute of the Management Team

On May 2, in the round of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, the Management Team - consisting of four Serbian representatives - presented the draft statute for the establishment of the Association, which was immediately rejected by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, who said that the document did not is in accordance with the constitutionality of Kosovo.

This document, which was accessed by Radio Free Europe, has 67 articles and nine chapters.

The Association, according to this draft statute, will be a "special form of organization, established for the purpose of protecting human and minority rights" of all residents and communities living in the municipalities that are part of the Association.

The management team has foreseen that the administrative center of the Association will be in North Mitrovica and any non-founding municipality can join the Association, if the Assembly of this body approves such a thing.

As for the organizational structure, the Association is expected to have an Assembly - elected by the member municipalities - which is the supreme body of the Association. In it, each municipality would have five representatives. According to this draft, the Association is expected to have a board of seven members, and this board is an executive body, elected by the Assembly, an institution to which it reports.

The Assembly also elects the president of the Association, while it is also planned to have a Council of the Association, as an advisory body.

It is also foreseen that the Association will have its own administration, which reports to the Board.

The draft status drawn up by the Management Team provides for the Association to have its own symbols, anthem, flag and coat of arms.

As for the powers, this document states that the Association can approve decisions and regulations of the Assembly, supervise the implementation of laws, regulate elections, reorganize and make the functioning of bodies, agencies, public enterprises as well as collect and process of statistical data. The association can also propose holding referendums and announce the same at the request of 10 percent of the voters who live in the municipalities that are part of this body.

Also, he can decide to borrow, approve the annual budget, establish agencies, organizations, enterprises and public financial institutions and funds and supervise their work.

Within the competences, it is foreseen that the Association can register the voters, keep data on the registers of births, marriages and deaths.

According to the document provided by REL, the Association is expected to appoint the regional police commander for the four municipalities in the north [North Mitrovica, Zveçan, Leposaviq and Zubin Potok].

The Management Team has also foreseen in the draft statute that the Association has the status of a legal entity, which means that it has the right to sue and be sued and to own movable and immovable property.

The draft statute also foresees the relationship that the Association will have with the central authorities. Relations will be "based on the principles of mutual cooperation and information exchange", "promoting the interests of the Serbian community". The association is also entitled to propose changes in laws, as well as to propose representatives in the bodies and institutions of the central bodies.

This body should also have its own budget and can generate income based on the participation of member municipalities, from services provided, taxes and from funds allocated from the budget of Serbia.

The draft envisages that the natural resources found in the territory of the member municipalities of the Association will be managed by the Association, as well as the assets of interest, such as: agricultural lands, forests and groundwater.

But the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, declared on May 2 that the members of the Management Team, who wrote this statute, "clearly" want to create "a Serbian Republic" in Kosovo - a reference to the entity with a Serb majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Herzegovina that has powers that challenge the central government.

Kurt's draft vision

After rejecting the draft statute of the Management Team - a team which he later said he dismissed - the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, presented in Brussels on May 2 what he called a draft vision for the issue of regulating non-majority communities. respectively of the Serbian community in Kosovo.

In Kurti's draft vision, the Association is not specifically mentioned, but it is referred to in Article 7 of the Agreement towards the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

The parties reached this agreement on February 27 in Brussels, and on March 18 in Ohrid they agreed on the Annex for its implementation.

This article of the agreement requires the parties to ensure "an appropriate level of self-management of the Serbian community in Kosovo". Self-management, according to the EU - which mediates the dialogue - is a reference to the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority.

In this agreement, also in article 10, it is stated that the parties must implement all the agreements reached in the dialogue, including that of the Association.

Kurti said that a draft statute for the Association must meet several conditions. In this context, he emphasized that such a body should "offer the members of the Serbian community in Kosovo the opportunity to promote and protect their interests through a self-management framework".

In the draft vision presented by the Kosovar Prime Minister, it is foreseen - as in the document of the Management Team - the possibility of cooperation with the institutions of Kosovo as well as to "fully recognize the constitutional characteristics" of Kosovo, respecting its independence and territorial integrity.

In his draft vision, Kurti has seen that the Serbian community has a direct channel of communication with the executive in Pristina and has the opportunity to be financed by Kosovo and other countries, including Serbia. However, all financing, according to Kurti's document, must go through the procedures and rules of the Ministry of Finance of Kosovo.

In the draft vision, it is stated that it will be possible to establish associations in the field of culture, art, science and education, as well as associations of various natures for the "expression, nourishment and development of the Serbian identity", based on the current laws on the exercise of services non-profit.

Kurti stated that he is ready to deepen this draft vision, but he said that the parties must agree on the principles of the Association.

Kurti insists that an association should not affect the functionality of Kosovo and be in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo in 2015, which found that the Agreement on the principles for the establishment of the Association - which Pristina and Belgrade reached in 2015 - was not fully in harmony with the highest legal act of the state, but that these inconsistencies, according to the Constitution, can be harmonized with legal acts.

Rama's draft statute

On June 8, the prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, announced the opinion that a day earlier he had sent the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, a draft statute for the Association.

Rama said that he has informed the American side about this document.

The Prime Minister of Albania said that the document is confidential.

However, he said that he is convinced that this draft statute is "a document of the highest international level that takes into consideration all the reasons for the creation of the Association and that the Association is part of the organization of life for Kosovo".

This draft statute, according to Rama, was drawn up by independent experts and that he himself contributed to it. However, the Albanian prime minister admitted that his Kosovar counterpart was not consulted about this document.

Rama also said that he is worried about the situation in which Kosovo is and he does not want the situation to worsen even further or to impose sanctions on Pristina.

"For me, the position of Kosovo is meaningless, that Serbia does what it has done before. The parties are not agreeing on who should write this text and not on how it should be drafted", added Rama.

Draft statute for the Association drawn up by FES

At the end of January of this year, the German organization Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) published a draft statute for the establishment of the Association in accordance with the Constitution and the legal system of Kosovo, as the Government of Prime Minister Kurti insists.

Consisting of seven chapters and 18 articles, this draft statute drawn up by FES provides for the establishment method, organizational structure, relations with central authorities, legal regulation, budget, as well as other aspects of the Association's operation, including symbols.

According to the FES, the Association can also exercise additional powers, which can be delegated by the central authorities of Kosovo.

As for the structure, this draft statute foresees that the Association will have: the Assembly, the president, the vice president, the Council and the Board of the Association.

FES has foreseen several objectives of this body, such as strengthening local democracy, by facilitating, financing or promoting activities that advance citizen participation and democratic practices, as well as the representation of interests important to local democracy.

Just like the draft statute drawn up by the Management Team, the FES document also foresees that the Association will have the status of a legal entity, which is said to be granted by the Government of Kosovo through a legal act.

According to the document in the German organization, the Association will be financed by the contributions of its members, income from the services provided by the Association, its movable or immovable assets, transfers from the central authorities, grants, donations, as well as the financial support of other associations and organizations, domestic and international, including the Republic of Serbia.

Meanwhile, as far as the budget is concerned, in this draft statute it is foreseen that the Association will be financed by the contributions of the participating municipalities, from the income of the services provided by this body, movable or immovable assets, transfers from the central authorities, grants, donations, as well as from the financial support of local and international organizations, including Serbia.

During the review of the budget, according to the document, the Government of Kosovo and the Auditor General may have access. The auditor is also expected to make checks on the expenses of this body.

According to the draft statute of FES, the Association will be exempt from duties and taxes in achieving its objectives, in the same way as the participating municipalities.

The European Union and the United States constantly ask the Government of Prime Minister Kurti to establish the Association. The European bloc has said that it has offered Kosovo some existing European models for the rights of national minorities. Meanwhile, the USA has repeated several times that it does not support an association that would create a "state within a state".

Finally, the Government of Kosovo has said that in order to create a level of self-management for the Serbian community, it will push forward a Croatian model for national minorities./ Rel

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