Serb Integration in Kosovo after the Brussels Agreement – Policy Report

19 March 2015 – Kosovo and Serbia have started an immense task, the integration of the Kosovo Serbs and Belgrade’s administrative and financial infrastructure on Kosovo’s territory into the latter’s system – in short, “Serb integration”. This builds on a hard-won agreement mediated by the EU and hailed as among Brussels’s best achievements. Yet its implementation on the ground has been and continues to be much more challenging. Integration raises deep, emotional issues among Albanians and Serbs, and small misunderstandings can easily produce a violent response. The array of institutions involved – municipal governments, schools, health care, courts, security services and others, with budgets of several hundred million euros – is daunting. There is no precedent, set of best practices or established road map. Pristina and Belgrade started this process for different reasons, the former to establish its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the latter to please the EU. Neither shows an appreciation of the scale of the task, or an inclination to commit the financial – and political – resources it calls for. With the support of international partners, Kosovo and Serbia should set a goal of full integration of Serb institutions into the Kosovo system by the end of 2015 and move quickly to make their agreement a reality. 

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