Nenezić: Dinar is just an excuse to start a debate about the remaining Serbian institutions in Kosovo

Two key elements were listed in request that was submitted to the Constitutional Court of Kosovo to assess the constitutionality of the recently adopted regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo. Firstly, attention was drawn to the fact that the Constitution and the law on the Central Bank stipulate that the use of currency is prescribed only by law, not by regulations. Secondly, the effect of the application of the regulation, or Article 35, on citizens and their basic human rights has been highlighted, lawyer Dragutin Nenezić told KoSSev.

Nenezić is one of the four-member lawyer team that compiled the request submitted to the Constitutional Court for the constitutionality assessment of the regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo, which entered into force on February 1st.

Apart from the fact that the regulation itself is unconstitutional, this team of lawyers’ main objection is to Article 35 of the regulation, which stipulates that the euro is the only currency that can be used for payment transactions and payment systems in Kosovo.

The request explained that this provision contradicts the constitutional provision that the issue must be clearly regulated by law, and not by an act of the CBK, as well as that the application of Article 35 violates basic human rights – to property, work, profession, health services and social welfare.

Moreover, it notes that Article 35 of the regulation indicates indirect discrimination, since it primarily affects the Kosovo Serbian community, while also highlighting that the Serbs were not consulted on this issue.

Finally, they indicated that the adoption of the regulation did not invalidate the existing provisions of the UNMIK regulation.

The lawyers’ call for the suspension of the regulation until the court makes a final decision on their assessment of its constitutionality.

The only way out

This was the only way to get out of this situation that was brought about by this ban on the use of dinars in Kosovo, Nenezić stressed.

The key to the request submitted is that it is a matter that cannot be regulated by a decision:

“The Constitution and the law on the central bank stipulate that the use of currency is prescribed only by law. So a law is required, and it is not possible to pass it because the assembly is dysfunctional, and that law also belongs to the laws for which non-majority communities must vote, which is currently not an option. Finally, that law would have to foresee the unilateral use of the euro without the consent of the European Central Bank“.

Neither the Constitution nor the CBK law mentions the euro as such

In addition, another reason why this request was also submitted is the effect of the regulation on the citizens themselves, and not only on Serbs – but all those who receive income from Serbia.

„Their basic human rights are being violated – to work, property… People cannot earn income, use their savings, receive their pensions. These are all examples of the effect of the implementation of the regulation and how human rights are violated, because, although there is talk about that transitional period, we see that it is already being implemented – dinars are taken away and they cannot enter (cf.Kosovo).”

Citizens have no alternative

As particularly problematic, Nenezić highlighted the fact that payment transactions in dinars have been abolished, yet no alternative has been found.

The Central Bank of Kosovo and the Prime Minister of Kosovo are persistently avoiding this issue, he added.

According to Nenezić, it was even avoided in the adjustment measures recently shared by the Central Bank of Kosovo.

„The ten points that the Central Bank has established as measures are also problematic, because the basic problem is being ignored, which is that currently the dinar payment transaction cannot be converted into payment transaction in euros. Everything that is paid in dinars cannot legally (according to Serbian laws) be paid in any other way. This is what Kurti and CBK are persistently going around.“

As stated in the submitted request, there was no consultation with the Serbian community, Nenezić noted.

„If Pristina wanted to talk, and according to the Constitution they were obliged to do so, they would have talked with the Serbs beforehand.“

The lawyer himself pointed out the legal shortcomings contained in the decision via the numerous text he wrote, but to no avail.

„I didn’t notice any response,“ he says.

The very act of submitting a request is a kind of victory, he stated.

„Something concrete has been done, and if the court rules as it should – it will certainly be a victory. If Kurti doesn’t obey the court – it will be a kind of victory because it will turn out that all his stories about the rule of law are actually just a façade.“

An agreement hard to come by; If only Komercijalna banka had not closed as it had been licensed in Kosovo

It is very difficult to reach an agreement under these conditions, because it would imply either abandoning the application of the regulation or finding a way to carry out dinar payments within the Kosovo system, says the lawyer.

„For the former, I think that it is not an option for Kurti at all at the moment, and for the latter, I think that it is only possible if Poštanska Štedionica bank were to be licensed overnight. It is not impossible, as it requires a certain amount of time, and until then the regulation will be applied to Poštanska Štedionica bank as well.“

If this bank were to register in Kosovo system, he explains, it would be possible to carry out parallel payment transactions – to receive money in dinars and the pay out to be carried out in euros.

At one time, he added, Komercijalna banka (NLB) did that, which should not have closed its doors as it was already licensed.

„The best solution was to keep the only licensed Serbian bank in Kosovo, namely NLB Komercijalna banka, which recently closed all its branches in Kosovo. Any other solution is difficult to achieve, because it would imply what Pristina wants, which is that all payments are made through their treasury,“ he explained.

The dinar is just an excuse to launch a much bigger story – institutions

At the same time, the lawyer shared his belief that the reason why Pristina wants to receive euros from Belgrade into its treasury is for the institutions that function within the dinar payment system to come under the auspices of Pristina.

„A form of hidden insertion of institutions into the Kosovo system. In order for Pristina to carry out these distributions, it implies that those institutions are Pristina’s or Kosovo’s. And schools, and hospitals, and municipalities and everything else are operating within the Kosovo system.“

In his words, all this is actually just an introduction and preparation for this.

„In order for CBK to pay the employees of the hospital the money that a unconstitutional, this team of lawyers’ main objection is to Article 35 of the regulation, arrived from the Ministry of Health of Serbia, the hospital would have to be registered in the Kosovo system. That is what I fear could lie behind the decision. The dinar is just an excuse to launch the story about institutions, that’s why I think that the solution that can be achieved is only of a technical nature, and anything else would be opening a bigger debate about shutting down the remaining institutions, which I don’t think is realistic for Belgrade, and for Pristina would be too big a bite,“ Nenezić concluded.

Read more:

Seeking its suspension until a court decision, a team of lawyers submitted a request for an assessment of the constitutionality of the CBK regulation

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