Kosovo-Serbia Policy Advocacy Group together with the I4PA Institute organized “The Achievements of the Kosovo-Serbia Technical Dialogue” workshop with participants from the civil society and youth from the municipality of Lipjan/Lipljan, funded by the European Union and the Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina/Pristina. Representatives of the Youth Assembly of Lipjan, Lipjan Youth Action Council and youth from Lipjan/Lipljan discussed the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process and the benefits of the agreements reached during the process.
Dea Gecaj, Executive Director I4PA Institute during her opening remarks noted that “we believe today’s workshop will be an additional tool in engaging the civil society as an important state-building process. Together, we will exchange views on both the topic of the discussion and the possibility of engaging the civil society in the entire process of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.”
Donika Emini, a researcher at the Kosovar Center for Security Studies, presented an overview of the Kosovo-Serbia technical dialogue and the agreements reached during this process since 2011. Together with the participants Ms. Emini discussed the main challenges of the dialogue process as well as the challenges in implementing the agreements. Ms. Emini highlighted the important role of the media in informing the public. She added that “The youth provided us with interesting information about their understanding on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process, and they are mainly informed by the media. It is clear that there is a lack of information from youth for this process.”
Meanwhile, Mimoza Telaku from the Balkans Group presented the benefits of the Kosovo-Serbia technical dialogue based on specific agreements. Ms. Telaku mentioned that the main purpose of the technical dialogue is focused on improving the lives of citizens, highlighting the Freedom of Movement Agreement, the Judiciary Agreement, the Telecommunication Agreement, the Energy Agreement, the Diploma Agreement, etc. Ms. Telaku added that “The technical dialogue agreements, for how much they have been implemented, have brought direct benefits to the citizens, especially in the free movement of people.”
Participants of civil society and youth from Lipjan/Lipljan mentioned that Freedom of Movement Agreement is one of the agreements from which the citizens have benefited the most. This agreement offered the possibility to Kosovo citizens to travel to Europe through Serbia, and as result to have better and faster access to European countries.
On the other hand, the participants expressed interest in implementing the agreement on the recognition of university diplomas that have a direct impact in their lives. The youth also expressed interest in integrating education of all ethnicities in Kosovo into an integrated education system.
Another important point highlighted by the participants was the participation of citizens in the dialogue process. They expressed the necessity of involving citizens in such an important process because the agreements reached during this process have a direct impact on the citizens.
The workshop is part of the activities of the “Promoting and Communicating Benefits of the EU-Mediated Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue” project. The project is funded by the European Union and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Kosovo Serbia Policy Advocacy Group was established in early 2018, as a tool to challenge the narratives at the society level and help policymakers to make the agreements in a more transparent manner. The Consortium is comprised of eight likeminded NGOs: Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG), Democracy for Development Institute (D4D), Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) and NGO AKTIV from Kosovo, and Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), European Movement in Serbia (EMinS) and Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) from Serbia.
Photos and report: Vullnet Gacaferri, KSPAG