A roundtable held to discuss the principles that help Kosovo prevent potential attempts to redefine its unique constitutional traits

September 11, 2018

On 11 September, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), in close cooperation with the Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS), have organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Lost in negotiations: Discussion the principles that help Kosovo prevent potential attempts to redefine its unique constitutional traits”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to discuss the premises upon which Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is being developed, as well as to identify principles which should be included in the Kosovo’s strategy towards this important process. The panel included distinguished guest from academia, well-known expert, civil society members and media, whom had special focus in analyzing the territorial exchange ideas and the possibility of the process to be led by the President of Kosovo on his own, and the consequences that this would entail for Kosovo. Generally, most of the panel members agreed that the possible exchange of territories is neither a long-term, nor a sustainable solution. The former President of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, Mr. Hasani, stated that the idea of exchanging territories is unconstitutional, as well as illegal. “Kosovo political representatives are approaching this process, as if they lack minimal experience in state-building, nor as a sovereign country. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) have recognized Kosovo with the existing borders as official ones since the declaration of its independence, and so it should remain. Any agreement that opposes the ICJ’s decision is unconstitutional”, he concluded. On another note, Mr. Beqaj, a well-known expert of the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, stated that he strongly opposes the failed political approaches that want to find solutions for the failed policies and resolve problems through exchange of territories. “The reason why Albanians in Serbia and Serbs living in Kosovo are dissatisfied is because of them feeling insecure and unequal in the territories they’re leaving, due to bad governance and failed policies in their respective countries”, he added.  He concluded that such idea entails a very high risk and is an incentive of creation of ethnic states, which is against pro-European policies. In addition, Mr. Peci, the Executive Director at KIPRED said that the logic of territorial correction is the biggest fraud that is being served to the citizens of Kosovo. Furthermore, such an idea is very dangerous and should not be supported as such. Unlike other members of the panel, Mr. Halimi, a well-known expert on the process, was the only one that supports the idea of the territorial exchange among the countries. He said that any idea that improves the living of citizens in these territories should be seriously considered by the political spectrum in both parts.  In addition, Mr. Qorolli, a Lecturer at the International Law Department at the University of Prishtina, was the next to address the audience. He stated that in order to propose territorial exchanges among countries, first they must agree that there are existing borders, which is not the case with Serbia towards Kosovo. The last to address the audience was Mr. Kryeziu, an expert on the process, who strongly opposed the idea. He said that sitting in a same table with a country that does not recognize your state and violates your territorial integrity, and negotiate such an idea, is very dangerous and extremely wrong. This Roundtable Discussion was attended by other experts, international representatives, civil society and media.

Panelists:

Prof. Dr. Enver Hasani – Former President of the Constitutional Court in Kosovo;

Dr.Sc. Belul Beqaj – Expert on the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue;

Mr. Lulzim Peci – Executive Director, KIPRED;

Mr. Fisnik Halimi – Expert on the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue;

Mr. Vigan Qorrolli – Lecturer at the University of Prishtina;

Mr. Taulant Kryeziu – Expert on the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue.

 

 

Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond (Artana Hall) – Mother Theresa Square, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo

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