Serbia Kosovo Agreement 2013

The agreement depended on Kosovo`s autonomy to be ceded to the northern Serb communities, in exchange for Serbia`s recognition of Kosovo`s authority in the region. Until now, Serbia had de facto control of the small Serb-majority area in the north, which does not recognize Kosovo`s authority. Kosovo has a predominantly Albanian population, but under the agreement, 10 areas with a large Serb population will be able to handle issues such as the local economy and education. Concerns were also expressed about how the 2013 municipal elections would be managed in Kosovo; the Serbian government opposed any mention of the „State of Kosovo“ on the ballot papers. [12] The Serbian government agreed to encourage Serbs in northern Kosovo to participate in these municipal elections. [13] PARIS – After months of difficult negotiations, Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement on Friday to overcome ethnic hostilities in Kosovo, a former Serbian province. This is a milestone that officials hope will improve stability in the region and pave the way for both countries` accession to the European Union. Analysts said the deal was made possible in part because of nationalist credentials from the respective leaders during the talks, whose Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a former Kosovo Liberation Army commander, told reporters that the deal would „help heal the wounds of the past.“ Proponents of the history of EU mediation between Belgrade and Pristina will recognise this ambiguity as a Brussels house style: getting the parties to publicly commit to an agreement whose content will then be filled in from the spotlight, often by EU officials. The advantage of this approach is to conclude agreements that would be politically deadly if pronounced in black and white. However, the cost is high. Both sides may feel betrayed and Belgrade has a particular tendency to squeak when implementation begins under conditions that have only been implied in the text itself. Focusing too much on the specifics of the agreement is likely to be misleading; many of its provisions are changed in practice, and some may be forgotten over time. The agreement strikingly omits any Serbian recognition of Kosovo`s independence.

However, analysts said the deal was nonetheless a breakthrough. Of course, some uncertainties remain about the implementation of the agreement, which has yet to be ratified in both capitals. Representatives of Kosovo Serbs immediately called for a demonstration in northern Mitrovica on 22 April to fight against the agreement. But its political and symbolic significance cannot be reversed, even if Belgrade still formally refuses to recognize Kosovo.

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