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April 6, 2015  Belgrade, Serbia

PARLIAMENTS OF KOSOVO AND SERBIA AND NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS

The Council for Inclusive Governance (CIG) organized on April 25, 2015 in Belgrade its second roundtable for members of parliaments of Serbia and Kosovo. The first meeting took place in Pristina in December 2014. The discussions addressed the overall role of the parliaments in the normalization of relations between Serbs and Albanians, particularly in the implementation of the April 2013 Brussels Agreement. The meeting was part of a project on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. There was consensus that the implementation of the Brussels Agreements should be accelerated. Serbian participants said that Pristina has been delaying the implementation of the aspects most important for the Serbs, particularly the formation of the Association/Community of the Serb-Majority Municipalities (hereinafter Association/Community), while Kosovo participants argued that Belgrade has not dismantled its system in Kosovo, which, according to them, is an agreed precondition for the formation of the Association/Community. Some suggested that the dismantling of the Serbian system in Kosovo and the formation of the Association/Community should take place simultaneously. Many interlocutors said that the implementation of the Brussels Agreement has to do more with the timing of steps than with their substance: Belgrade has agreed to dismantle the parallel structures but refuses to do it until Pristina agrees on the formation of the Association/Community, and Pristina has agreed on the Association/Community but refuses to engage in its formation until Belgrade dismantles its system in Kosovo. Formation of the Association/Community versus dismantling of Serbian system will most likely remain as bargaining chips for further negotiations.

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