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CrisisWatch Kosovo

Unchanged Situation

EU brokered temporary agreement to resolve tense standoff with Serbia triggered by licence plate dispute, while police and Kosovo Serb protesters clashed. Following govt’s implementation of regulations affecting Serbian licence plates that triggered unrest in north and dispute with Belgrade, NATO mission 2 Oct deployed to border crossing points with Serbia in northern Kosovo in support of EU-brokered temporary agreement. EU deal 4 Oct came into force, requiring covering up national symbols on licence plates and establishing Working Group to find permanent solution to dispute. Working Group 21 Oct met for first time in Belgian capital Brussels, due to report back on their findings at High-Level Dialogue in six months. Meanwhile, authorities in Mitrovica city in northern Kosovo 1 Oct charged ten ethnic Albanians with involvement in Sept ethnically motivated attack against Serbs. In worrying incident, police 13 Oct clashed with Kosovo Serb protesters who reportedly threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police during anti-smuggling operation in Mitrovica; incident left six officers and one protester injured. Serbian President Vučić same day met Kosovo Serb representatives, who asked for weapons and Serbian troops in or out of uniform, and stated: “If they [Kosovo authorities] start violence, you protect your people and we will be with you”. Meanwhile, U.S. 13 Oct urged for calm and EU 14 Oct warned against “unilateral actions”. In first round of municipal elections held 17 Oct, ruling Vetevendosje party failed to secure victory in any of 17 constituencies that produced clear winner; 21 remaining constituencies due to be decided in run-off votes.

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Reports & Briefings

Latest Updates

How to Relaunch the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue

Online Event to discuss Crisis Group's report "Relaunching the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue", in which we discussed what currently stands in the way of a new status quo and what it will take to relaunch the process with the Pristina elections in view.

The Western Balkans: Fragile Majorities

Political instability keeps growing in the Western Balkans amid geopolitical contests and increased tensions with Russia. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to engage intensively to ensure the political space for avoiding more serious crisis does nto entirely vanish in the Western Balkans.

Report / Europe & Central Asia

Serbia and Kosovo: The Path to Normalisation

Serbia and Kosovo must build on a recent breakthrough in negotiations and extend dialogue to sensitive issues, especially northern Kosovo’s institutions, in order to keep their fragile relationship moving forward.

Also available in Shqip, Српски