New Trepca Supervisory Board Members Appointed; Open Competition for Serbs in Coming Weeks

At yesterday’s session, the Kosovo Government appointed members of Trepca’s Supervisory Board, the Kosovo PM’s Office announced. However, Koha daily writes not all members have been appointed, only 6 out of 9 in total. Three slots remain free for the Serb community and an open competition is to be launched “in a few weeks’ time”, the same Pristina-based portal reports.

"The Government of Republic of Kosovo adopted today a proposal made by the Committee for Recommendations on the appointment of the Trepca Holding Supervisory Board members, thus fulfilling a promise that the Government made on completing the boards composition” – reads the Kosovo Government press release issued Wednesday, without any names stated.

Koha reported this morning that some of the newly-appointed Board members included Esat Peci, South Mitrovica Municipal Assembly member and Haradinaj’s AAK mayoral candidate in the last elections, as well as Feriz Fetahu, who is member of Fatmir Limaj’s NISMA.

"The Kosovo Government has breached selection criteria for members of the Trepca Supervisory Board after the appointment of two political figures on this board at the Wednesday session”, Koha also reports, adding that Peci told this paper that he had resigned from the post within the Municipal Assembly, as well as the fact he was a party member did not “impede” his appointment since, as he put it, he had fulfilled all the criteria set out in the open competition. 

After the closing of the open competition, the Board members from the Serb community will be announced. 

According to the Kosovo law on the establishment of a Supervisory Board, Serbs are entitled to one guaranteed seat, Pristina-based media reported earlier, adding that the Srpska List demanded an "increased presence of Serb representatives” to up to three members, while this request was utilized as a precondition to their votes in favor of the demarcation deal that was adopted in the meantime, after almost three years.

Srpska List later on denied these allegations, saying that for them “the topic of the so-called demarcation is non-existent”, nor were they “interested in this issue”, while Kosovo’s officials reiterated that Srpska List would vote in favor of the demarcation “without setting any conditions”.

Srpska List MPs did not vote for demarcation, but Gorani member of the Srpska List Caucus, Adem Hodža voted in favor of it.

The establishing of the Supervisory Board is one of the leading preconditions for the implementation of the Kosovo-promulgated Law on Trepca, that was adopted in October 2016, which enabled the Kosovo Government to take over 80 percent ownership of the enterprise.

Serb political representatives within Kosovo’s institutions however kept pointing out that the law was adopted in contradiction to the Constitution, without them being present, as well as that the interests of Serb communities were disregarded, therefore they had “frozen” their participation in Kosovo’s institutions over it.

Subsequently, a series of protest rallies by the Trepca North management and employees were launched, with a harsh verbal reaction from the Belgrade-based officials and suspended participation of Serb representatives in the work of Kosovo’s institutions. Serb representatives also motioned for evaluation of the law before the Constitutional Court, but the latter rejected their request

One of the conditions for Serbs return to the Kosovo Government was then the adoption of a decree  on the creation of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities. Almost six months later, Serb representatives returned to Kosovo’s institutions, even though the decree was never adopted. They explained bringing such a decision with “being able to take advantage of all opportunities to prevent the creation of a Kosovo’s Army and deny Pristina authorities any further excuses not to create the CSM”.

On the other side, the Trepca Feasibility Study  was completed, but there were no concrete steps in the implementation of this law taken by the former government led by Isa Mustafa that, as Kosovo media reported, required the establishment of a Supervisory Board and Steering Committee of Trepca Holding.             

In the meantime, Trepca North is in the midst of a social reimbursement scheme for 600 to 700 miners, this is done “with the understanding demonstrated by the Serbian Government” as it was announced on the International Miners Day. 

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