Kosovo to send its own ASM draft Statute to C.Court after not being included in the agenda of the CoE Committee of Ministers

FOTO: KoSSev

Kosovo was not included on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe, which begins its session today. Although defined as a post-accession obligation, ahead of today’s session, the EU demanded that Pristina fulfill at least part of its obligation regarding the formation of the Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities – to forward the Draft Statute prepared by the EU to the Constitutional Court for review. So far, Pristina refused to do so. However, on the very day of the session, even though the agenda of the session of ministers had practically already been finalized, through an organization whose reports speak in favor of Kosovo, information was released that the Kosovo government agreed to take this step. They claim that they will send the draft statute to the Constitutional Court by the end of May. But not just any draft and not the one made by the EU, but a completely new one, drafted by the Kosovo authorities. Dragiša Mijačić briefly commented on the news, recalling the famous lyric of a famous Serbian rock band Partibrejkers: “Being the same, being special, being free, being only yours(yourself).”

The Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gervalla Schwartz, sent a letter this morning to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stating that the Kosovo government undertakes to prepare a draft on the ASM.

„As part of the membership process in the Council of Europe, after 82% of the votes of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were in favor of this membership, as part of the commitments undertaken by the three heads of state, I sent a letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe this morning. The letter contains an obligation that the Government of the Republic of Kosovo will prepare a draft for the creation of a mechanism for self-governance, coordination and cooperation of municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo, which fulfills the inherited international obligations of Kosovo, meets the needs of the citizens of the Serbian community of the Republic of Kosovo, but at the same time respects the Constitution in its entirety and in every detail and all the laws of the Republic of Kosovo as well as the principles of the Council of Europe,“ Gervalla wrote in a Facebook post this morning.

Such a draft serves the government’s goal of integrating non-majority communities and applying the laws of the Republic of Kosovo in all municipalities, she added.

This Kosovo minister also says that this draft simultaneously prevents „unauthorized outside interventions“, both in the municipalities and throughout Kosovo.

„The draft ensures not only full respect for the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo, but at the same time prevents unauthorized interventions from outside, both in the municipalities of Kosovo and in the entire country.“

In her words, Kosovo had thus declared its commitment to take a tangible step towards fulfilling the undertaken obligation on the ASM.

Gervalla says that she now expects the Council of Europe to fulfill its obligation and „call on Kosovo to join the Council of Europe without delay, as a country that has not only been set the most conditions for membership in this organization, but one that has fulfilled all these conditions.“

„Independent and sovereign Kosovo, as a legal and democratic state, remains on its firm path towards NATO and EU membership,“ she declared.

Draft statute inspired by the ideas of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

The alleged content of this letter was shared this morning on his X network profile by Gerald Knaus, chairman of the European Initiative for Stability, an organization whose reports usually favor Kosovo.

Gervalla first reminded Teodoros Rouzopoulos, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, that on April 17 of this year, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe already concluded that Kosovo fulfills all membership requirements in that international organization, by adopting the report and then requesting that their membership be approved by the Committee of Ministers.

In the letter, she informs that Kosovo has decided to take a tangible step regarding the implementation of the Basic Agreement and the Annex for its implementation, that is, the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority, which, she reminded, is one of the post-accession commitments for Kosovo.

„Following the letter of commitment of 23 March 2024 signed by the political leadership of Kosovo, namely President Osmani, Prime Minister Kurti and Speaker Konjufca, I am writing to inform you about tangible steps that we are undertaking to comply with our post-accession commitments. Since 17 April 2024, the Government of Kosovo has taken concrete and tangible steps with regard to the full implementation of the Basic Agreement (27 February 2023) and its Implementation Annex (18 March 18 2023), including on the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities, (Article 7 in conjunction with Article 10 of the Basic Agreement) as one of the post-accession commitments.“

She claims that they have already started consultations with representatives of Kosovo Serbs, although she did not specify with whom exactly.

„In line with the spirit of Article 7 in conjunction with Article 10 of the Basic Agreement, we have already started consultations with representatives of the members of the Serb community to take note of the needs of the municipal service-based cooperation and association,“ the letter states.

In this regard, she writes, the Kosovo government is preparing a draft Statute on the ASM, inspired by the ideas of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. In the letter, she said that she would send it to the Constitutional Court for consideration by the end of May of this year.

As Kosovo is taking „tangible steps“ with this, the minister says that she now expects the Committee of Ministers to invite Kosovo to become a member of the Council of Europe.

„Considering these concrete and tangible steps undertaken by Kosovo, we expect that the Committee of Ministers will have additional reasons to invite Kosovo to become the 47th member state of the Council of Europe. We thank you for your collaboration as we wait to enhance our cooperation through full membership to the Council of Europe,“ Donika Gervalla Schwartz concluded in the letter.

You can read the content of the ASM Statute, prepared by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation HERE.

What was EU’s request before the meeting of ministers?

A session of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE started today. Although previously the majority in the Committee for Policy of the Council of Europe and then in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe supported the report written for Kosovo by Dora Bakoyannis, Kosovo is still not on the agenda of the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the member states of the Council of Europe.

In response to this meeting, immediately after the successful step in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the EU demanded that Pristina fulfill at least part of the obligation regarding the establishment of the ASM, which is defined as a post-accession commitment.

For Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe, the Kosovo authorities needed to show „tangible effort“ towards the establishment of the ASM, such as by sending the draft statute to the Constitutional Court for consideration.

With the latter, international efforts have been going on for months to get the Kosovo authorities to agree to do so, mostly by France, Italy and Germany, but the US as well. The draft statute in question was prepared by the EU.

In a joint letter to the Council of Europe before the previous vote on April 16, Albin Kurti, Vjosa Osmani and Glauk Konjufca undertook to do so. The report of the rapporteur for the issue of Kosovo’s possible membership in the Council of Europe – Dora Bakoyannis – was adopted by the majority of votes in Strasbourg, which recommended the admission of Kosovo to this European body.

Nevertheless, the Prime Minister of Kosovo said at the last session of the government that Kosovo refuses to be conditioned, repeating that they have fulfilled all the conditions for membership.

“Being the same, being special, being free, being only yours(yourself)”

Dragiša Mijačić, coordinator of the Working Group of the National Convention on the EU for Chapter 35, commented on the X network the news that Kosovo agreed to send their own Draft Statute, not the one drafted by the European Union by quoting the lyrics from a song of a well-known Serbian rock band Partibrejkersi:

„Partibrejkersi philosophy of the Government of Kosovo: Being the same, being special, being free, being only yours(yourself).”



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