March 2020 – Balkans Group organized a workshop on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue
in Pristina with students from the universities AAB College, University for
Business and Technology (UBT), College Universum and University of Pristina
(UP). Through this event, BPRG aimed at informing and generating discussion on
the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process.
workshop discussion was structured in two main sessions. At the outset,
participants filled in an online survey of nine (9) questions aimed at
encouraging them to brainstorm and express their opinions anonymously about the
first session generated an informative debate on the Brussels facilitated
dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia with the assistance of the expert Dren Zeka.
The discussion focused on two main segments:
a general overview of the dialogue, and the agreements reached so far with
special attention to the ones that have been implemented as well as why certain
agreements have stalled. Participants were very engaged and raised several
questions during this session.
The second session
generated an interactive discussion as participants were arranged into groups
and asked to evaluate the level of importance of the various agreements. The
majority of the groups considered “Freedom of Movement” (revitalization of
Mitrovica Bridge in particular), “Recognition of University Diplomas”,
“Integrated border/boundary Management” and “Integration of Justice” as high
level of importance. They also assessed the agreements they considered of
lesser importance which they found to be “Energy”, “Telecommunications”
and “Liaison Offices”. This activity was very successful as it generated
fruitful discussions among the participants and also informed them about the
content of the various agreements.
In the same manner
as the survey conducted during the workshop on February 25, 2020, BPRG found
that participants were somewhat informed about the dialogue and that their main
sources of information used to be informed were TV news/debates followed by the
social media channels.
The future of the
dialogue was also raised during the discussions, especially with the new
government in place. Overall, the majority of participants believe that
continuation of the dialogue is the only way to move forward in order for
Kosovo to reach its aims and objectives. Regarding the 100% tax on Serbian
goods, there was consensus among the participants that the tax should be
removed, but not without Serbia being conditioned or implementing the
agreements. Participants were also positive about furthering cooperation with
the EU and USA, and suggested the involvement of USA on the role of the facilitator
of the dialogue.
This workshop was
organized as part of the project “Advancing Kosovo Institutions, Democratization
and Regional Cooperation” and falls under one of the regional cooperation
pillars of the project, which aims to promote and support the dialogue on
normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
This activity is
funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pristina.