Report 223 / Europe & Central Asia

Srbija i Kosovo: Put ka normalizaciji

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Izvršni izveštaj

Zatreslo se tlo pod nogama na Kosovu decembra 2012. Posle godina pozicioniranja, ispresecanih izbijanjim nasilja, Srbija i Kosovo počeli su da implementiraju sporazum o granici u graničnu kontrolu otvarajući zajedničke prelaze na prelazima zabarikadiranim na razne načine, koji su zaobilaženi ili spaljivani do temelja najvećim delom poslednje dve godine. Veći problemi, uključujuči sudove, policiju i opštinske strukture u većinsko srpskom Severnom Kosovu, sada su na dnevnom redu bilateralnog dijaloga na visokom nivou posredstvom Evropske Unije (EU). Lideri obe države izgledaju spremniji za kompromis nego ikad, ali se Srbi sa severa Kosova čvrsto protive integraciji, nasilje na nižim nivoima raste, kosovski nacionalisti su napeti, i iskra bi mogla da pokrene međuzajedničke sukobe. Beograd i Priština bi trebalo da iskoriste ovu šansu da se uključe u suštinsku diskusiju o transformaciji postojećih struktura na Severu i da ponude samoupravljanje regiji koja potpada pod jurisdikciju Kosova na bazi fleksibilne primene nacrta Ahtisarijevog plana.

Kosovo i Srbija se još uvek ne slažu oko mnogo čega. Za Prištinu, cilj pregovora je prihvatanje, od strane Srba, Ahtisarijevog plana – nacrta koji je prvobitno smislio Martti Ahtisaari, bivši specijalni izaslanik UN – koji je postavio internu strukturu i položaj države Kosova. Za Beograd, razgovori se tiču revizije ili unapređenja sporazuma koje smatra pogrešnim ili neprihvatljivim, kao što je Ahtisarijev plan. Jaz između strana proširio se tokom godina sa malo direktnog kontakta, velikog nepoverenja i žustre unutrašnje politike. Kretanje sigurnim putom kroz te vode biće teško, ali skoriji razvoj daje nadu pošto su rezultati u ranim fazama razgovora raskravili nešto međusobne rigidnosti. Srbija je u skorije vreme prekoračila prag priznajući, makar implicite, teritorijalni integritet Kosova i jurisdikciju nad Severom, iako i dalje poriče njegovu nezavisnost. Izgleda da su obe prestonice odbacile upotrebu sile kao sredstva rešavanja njihovog političkog sukoba.

Ovaj izveštaj osvrće se na tehnički dijalog koji se sprovodi uz pomoć EU od marta 2011., i dalje, na naredne faze političkih razgovora na višem nivou koji su počeli u oktobru 2012. Strane su rešile neke političke probleme: trgovinske odnose, učešće u regionalnim sastancima i međusobno priznavanje diploma. Drugi – slobodno kretanje lica, lična dokumenta, kancelarije za vezu, civilni registar i evidencija imovine – su teški, ali neki rezultati su evidentni. Razgovori o telekomunikacijama i energiji nisu doveli do do sporazuma, a o emotivnim temama, kao što su nestale osobe, tek treba da se raspravlja. Otvaranje dva granična prelaza sa zajedničkim upravljanjem u decembru najsvetlije je postignuće do danas i potencijalno je bitno; način upravljanja granicom dodiruje skoro svaki aspekt sukoba Kosovo-Srbija, od svakodnevno praktičnih do fundamentalnih problema statusa i nezavisnosti. Ipak, strane tek treba da finalizuju detalje, posebno u vezi sa carinskom kontrolom, a policijama Kosova i EU (EULEX) se i dalje mora odobriti potpuna sloboda kretanja kako bi stizale do granice sa Srbijom i obavljale svoje dužnosti.

Proboj je bio prvi opipljiv rezultat razgovora između dvojice premijera kome je domaćin bila Ketrin Ešton, šef EU za spoljnu politiku. Do sada, cilj tih sastanaka, uglavnom, je bilo međusobno ispipavanje i donošenje odluka u vezi sa sporazumima koje su ranije nacrtali eksperti. Bilo je moguće zapakovati rezultate dovoljno nedvosmisleno da se dozvoli obema stranama da se drže svojih principa koji se tiču statusa Kosova. Ipak, taj period se završava. Biće teže održati nedvosmislenost u vezi sa sledećim tačkama dnevnog reda koje se bave time čiji će zakoni i institucije vladati severnim Kosovom.

Decembra 2012. države članice EU postavile su teške uslove blisko vezane za postepenu normalizaciju njihovih bilateralnih odnosa da bi Srbija i Kosovo napredovali na svom putu ka prijemu u EU. Da bi započela pregovore o članstvu, od Srbije je traženo da progresivno obezbedi strukture bezbednosti i pravde na severnom Kosovu u saradnji sa Kosovom. Ovo znači učiniti značajni napredak u vezi sa tim kako treba upravljati lokalnim sudovima, policijom i opštinama. Iako su ove institucije trenutno van kontrole Prištine, mogu se pronaći rešenja koja će potvrditi jedinstvo države istovremeno dozvoljavajući lokalnim Srbima da zadrže osećaj svojine.

Transformacija severnih struktura u samoupravna tela koja potpadaju pod jurisdikciju Kosova mogu otvoriti put kojim se Severu nudi poseban aranžman kao deo ukupnog rešenja. Mnogo se može postići fleksibilnom primenom Ahtisarijevog plana u vezi sa policijom, sudovima i regionalnom vladom. Jedan od principa trebalo bi da bude da granice Kosova ostanu netaklnute; drugi bi trebalo da bude taj da Sever upravlja sobom po sopstvenoj želji kada je reč o pitanjima interesa zajednice, ukoliko ovo ne ugrožava teritorijalni integritet Kosova. Priština takođe želi da se potvrdi njihov status kao nezavisne države, što Beograd trenutno odlučno odbija. Pa čak i ovde postoji mesto za kompromis kako Srbija prestaje da blokira članstvo Kosova u regionalnim i međunarodnim organizacijama i učešće u međunarodnim sportskim i kulturnim događajima. Ovo su kompleksna, veoma emotivna pitanja čiji se detalji mogu razrađivati postepeno u korak sa procesima napredovanja Kosova i Srbije ka primanju u EU.

Ali, dijalog je sada na odlučujućoj tački. Pozicije Boegrada i Prištine po pitanju severnog Kosova nikada nisu bile bliže. Ako mogu finalizirati sporazume u vezi sa granicom i učine istinski napredak u razgovorima oko vladajućih ijstitucija i vladavini prava na Severu pre Saveta Evrope (samit) koji će biti u junu 2013., EU je spremna da ih oboje nagradi. Za Kosovo, pregovori sa Evropskom Unijom o Sporazumu o stabilizaciji i pridruživanju utemeljili bi ga isto toliko čvrsto kao i ostatak regiona koji je u procesu pridruživanja. Za Srbiju, početak pregovora o formalnom pridruživanju bio bi veliki posticaj naporima u reformama. Ovo bi, zajedno sa prijemom Hrvatske u EU u julu, ustalasalo zapadni Balkan. Ali ako razgvori propadnu u narednih nekoliko meseci politika država članica EU diktirala bi dugu pauzu koju krhke koalicije Beograda i Prištine možda neće preživeti, a nasilje na nižim nivoima koje je mučilo region početkom 2013. može se pogoršati. Tako obećavajuća prilika se možda neće uskoro ukazati, ako će uopšte.

Priština/Beograd/Brisel, 19. februar 2013.

Executive Summary

The ground shifted underfoot in Kosovo in December 2012. After years of posturing, punctuated by outbursts of violence, Serbia and Kosovo began to implement a landmark agreement on border control, opening joint posts at crossings that had been variously barricaded, circumvented or burned to the ground for much of the past two years. Bigger issues, including the courts, police and municipal structures in Serb-majority northern Kosovo, are now on the agenda of a high-level bilateral dialogue facilitated by the European Union (EU). The leaders of both states seem more ready than ever to compromise, but the northern Kosovo Serbs are staunchly opposed to integration, low-level violence is increasing, Kosovo nationalists are tense, and a spark could set off intercommunal fighting. Belgrade and Pristina should seize this chance to engage in a substantial discussion on the transformation of existing structures in the North and to offer a self-governing region that fits into Kosovo’s jurisdiction based on a flexible application of the Ahtisaari plan’s features.

Kosovo and Serbia still disagree on much. For Pristina, negotiation aims at winning Serb acceptance of the Ahtisaari plan – the framework devised originally by Martti Ahtisaari, the former UN special envoy – that set in place Kosovo’s internal structure and statehood. For Belgrade, the talks concern revision or improvement of agreements that it considers flawed or unacceptable, like the Ahtisaari plan. The gulf between the two expanded during years of little direct contact, ample mistrust and fractious domestic politics. Navigating a sure route through the waters will be hard, but recent developments provide hope, as results in the early stages of the talks have thawed some of the mutual rigidity. Serbia recently crossed a threshold by affirming, at least implicitly, Kosovo’s territorial integrity and jurisdiction over the North, though still denying its independence. Both capitals seem to have ruled out the use of force to reach a solution to their political dispute.

This report looks back at the technical dialogue conducted with EU facilitation since March 2011 and forward to the next stages of the high-level political talks that began in October 2012. The sides have resolved some practical issues: trade relations, participation in regional meetings and recognition of one another’s diplomas. Others – free movement of persons, personal documents, liaison offices, civil registry and property records – have been difficult, but some results are evident. Talks on telecommunications and energy have not led to agreement, and emotional subjects like missing persons have yet to be broached. The December opening of two jointly-managed border posts is the brightest achievement to date, and potentially an important one; the border regime touches almost every aspect of the Kosovo-Serbia dispute, from mundane practicalities to fundamental status and independence issues. Yet, the sides still have to finalise details, especially on customs controls, and Kosovo and EU police (EULEX) still must be granted full free movement to reach the Serbia border and carry out their duties.

The breakthrough was the first tangible result of talks between the two prime ministers and hosted by Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief. Until now, those meetings have been mainly about feeling one another out and making decisions on agreements framed earlier by experts. It has been possible to package results ambiguously enough to allow both sides to hold to their principles concerning Kosovo status. That period is ending, however. It will be more difficult to sustain ambiguity on the next agenda items, which deal with whose law and institutions will govern northern Kosovo.

In December 2012, EU member states set tough conditions closely tied to the gradual normalisation of their bilateral relations for Serbia and Kosovo to progress on their respective EU accession tracks. To begin membership negotiations, Serbia was asked to progressively deliver security and justice structures in northern Kosovo in cooperation with Kosovo. This means making substantial progress in discussions on how the local courts, police and municipalities are to be managed. While these institutions are currently outside Pristina’s control, solutions can be found that would affirm the state’s unity, while allowing local Serbs to retain their sense of ownership.

The transformation of northern structures into self-governing bodies that fit into Kosovo’s jurisdiction could open the way for offering the North a special arrangement as part of the overall solution. Much can be accomplished by flexible application of the Ahtisaari plan with regards to police, courts and regional government. One principle should be that Kosovo’s borders remain intact; another should be that the North govern itself as it wishes when it comes to issues of community concern, insofar as this does not damage Kosovo’s territorial integrity. Pristina also wants its status as an independent state affirmed, which Belgrade currently firmly rejects. Yet even here, there is room for compromise, with Serbia lifting its block on Kosovo’s membership in regional and international organisations and participation in international sporting and cultural events. These are complex, highly emotive issues the details of which can be worked out gradually, in step with Kosovo’s and Serbia’s EU accession processes.

But the dialogue is now at a decisive point. Belgrade’s and Pristina’s positions on northern Kosovo have never been closer. If they can finalise agreements on the border and make real progress in talks on governing institutions and the rule of law in the North before the European Council (summit) in June 2013, the EU is ready to reward both. For Kosovo, negotiating a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union would ground it as firmly as the rest of the region in the accession process. For Serbia, starting formal membership negotiations would give a huge boost to its reform efforts. Coupled with Croatia’s EU accession in July, these gains would ripple through the western Balkans. But if talks collapse in the next few months, EU member-state politics would dictate a long pause that the fragile coalitions in Belgrade and Pristina might not survive, and the low-level violence that has racked the region in early 2013 could worsen. Such a promising opportunity may not come again soon, if at all.

Pristina/Belgrade/Brussels, 19 February 2013

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