Kusari-Lila is optimistic about membership in the Council of Europe in 2024: the EU should change its approach to dialogue

Mimosa Kusari Lila

Photo: Driton Pacharada

The European Union must change its approach to dialogue, said the head of the Parliamentary Group of the Vetëvendosje Movement, Mimoza Kusari-Lila, since the process so far has not brought success and it is necessary to have a different format after the EU elections and with a mediator young European. For the latter, she says that apart from the former Slovenian president, Borut Pahor, there are other candidates.

She is optimistic that Kosovo will join the Council of Europe by the end of 2024, while adding that an intermediate solution will be found to move forward with the association of municipalities with a Serbian majority.

The head of LVV deputies, in an interview for KosovaPress, declares that the EU's current approach to dialogue is discouraging the parties to be more productive. She mentions the flattery that, according to her, the EU is giving to Serbia, despite the terrorist attack in Banjska and the violation of the Brussels agreement.

"The approach and the objectives and the format are also necessary. We believe that until now, in the way the dialogue was structured, in the way the dialogue was communicated, it has not brought much success. It was seen that not holding accountable those who violated the agreements does not bring progress in the dialogue. On the contrary, it discourages the parties to be more productive in the dialogue. Serbia is expelled without measures, without sanctions, constantly violates the points of the agreement, while pressure is put on Kosovo... I cannot give an assessment, as I do not know who the other names are. It was only former president Pahor, who already presented his willingness to be a mediator, was even more vocal, was more active in the media. We have information that there are other candidates who are interested or who were interested, but their names have not been made public", said Kusari-Lila.

Speaking about the failure of Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe, Kusari-Lila is optimistic that this will happen before the end of this year. It expects a reflection from the member countries of the Council of Europe regarding their request for concrete steps for the establishment of the association of municipalities with a Serbian majority.

"I see that this can happen no later than the end of 2024. So, this year will again be the year that our efforts for membership in the Council of Europe are crowned with success... I hope there will be serious reflection from the countries member, but also in the other aspect, Kosovo is aware of what is being asked of it or what was later made a condition in the Council of Ministers, despite the fact that we have never withdrawn from the obligations inherited from previous agreements. They must be in accordance with the Constitution of the country and the proper functioning of the state", she declares.

She emphasizes that the government does not agree with the draft statute proposed by the EU, therefore it has not proceeded to the Constitutional Court. Kusari-Lila believes that a solution can be found, where the statute of the association is an authentic document of the Kosovar side, which, as she says, will be done in coordination with international allies.

"That draft statute to be sent to the Constitutional Court should become a government decision. We have been clear that in order to receive the seal and logo of the government there must be compliance. The government must also agree to the entirety of the material that has been submitted. The government did not fully agree with that material and submitted its own comments, which were not taken into account. Therefore we must have a document, which has not only the seal of the government, but also all the support... I am more than convinced that we will go with an intermediate solution, because there is no other way. We see the importance of communication and relations with all states, including those that have insisted that the draft statute of the association go to the Constitutional Court. But I think that everyone should be clear that the first is the international obligations that Kosovo has, and the second, they cannot insist on something that could cause problems within Kosovo. Therefore, I believe that in this time process, the intermediate solution will be when there is something authentic from Kosovo itself. Of course, it is also discussed with international partners, but the ownership must be of Kosovo", declares Kusari-Lila.

Regarding the closing of six units of the Postal Savings Bank of Serbia in the north, she says that it was done because of the extent of sovereignty and legitimacy in that part, as she expresses her surprise with the international reaction regarding the issue of the dinar.

"I am surprised that the actions aimed at establishing legality in the north are still strongly opposed. This was expected. The efforts of the Government of Kosovo for more than five months to find a solution to the issue of aid or social assistance that Serbia provides for Serbian citizens in Kosovo, have been continuous. There have been seven meetings in Brussels, continuous commitment, proposals, alternatives that have not been accepted by the Serbian side... That the international community in some form sends a note of protest to the Government of Kosovo when there is a commitment to establishing legality, this is a little strange. This was a process that took time and commitment to resolve...I don't believe that the international factor went completely uninformed. Maybe the approval was not obtained, but it is the same as if the approval is not obtained for a police action anywhere else in Kosovo, in order to establish law and order, or to stop any illegal activity", Kusari-Lila emphasizes.

According to her, it would be paradoxical that due to the extension of legitimacy in the north, there would be a continuation of punitive measures against Kosovo.

"It would be paradoxical if an activity of the state for law and order, for the interruption of illegal activities within its own territory, would be accompanied by an extension of the measures. Meanwhile, activities aimed at destabilizing the region do not receive harsher criticism even in rhetorical terms. Yes, the terrorist attack in Kosovo and the killing of our hero was condemned, but there were no consequences for Serbia", she concludes. /KP