20-21 June 2022
Balkans Group organized an exchange event of prominent civil society representatives of Serbia and Kosovo on 20-21 June 2022, in Prishtina, Kosovo. Stemming from Balkans Group pillar of ‘Advancing Regional Cooperation & Good Neighbourly Relations’, this event aimed at setting the foundation for regular exchanges of various groups of interest between the two societies as means to improve communication and cooperation between the two.
Tailored to serve as a brainstorming session on re-energising the process, the activity was structured in two main components.
The first part of the event gathered around 50 prominent civil society representatives and intellectuals of Kosovo and Serbia in a roundtable discussion. The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kosovo, Jens Erik Grondahl, gave an opening speech that emphasized the importance of such meetings to Kosovo’s and Serbia’s regional and EU perspectives as he called on the participants to make the most of this opportunity. The roundtable produced a fruitful and constructive debate structured around three different panels. The main subjects discussed were the new dynamics of the Brussels-led dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia, the challenges of framing the right narrative and the necessary steps to move forward.
As per the second part, Balkans Group organised a series of meetings between the representatives of the civil society of Serbia and the Kosovo leaders and politicians. The representatives from Belgrade held separate meetings with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the Leader of the Assembly, Glauk Konjufca. Representatives further had the chance to meet the leaders and representatives of the main opposition parties in Kosovo, Memli Krasniqi, Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and Lutfi Haziri and Shqipe Mjekiqi, Vice-Chairs of the Democratic League of Kosovo. The activity was welcomed by the participants in addition to the leaders of Kosovo, who perceived it as a great opportunity to communicate and exchange their views and positions.
Between the criticism of the existing political narratives in the respective societies and the current geopolitical developments, participants identified many options for re-energising the process and normalizing their relations. The citizen’s support of the dialogue in the respective societies was brought up many times during the discussion as a clear indicator of the necessity to change the process’ direction.
This event was organized as part of the multi-pillar project “Elevate peace & state-building agenda and advancing European agenda”, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pristina.