INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRATION IN KOSOVO’S NORTH
Serbs in the north of Kosovo voted in solid numbers for the first time in Kosovo’s elections since Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008. The Belgrade-backed Citizen’s Initiative Srpska won in nine of the ten Serb-majority municipalities, including all four in the north. Though marred with irregularities and an aggressive intimidation campaign, the election in the north was successful in that it elected officials and created the conditions for establishing institutions recognized by all stakeholders. The results were also accepted by all parties.
The integration process, however, includes a number of challenging steps in the upcoming weeks. These are the establishment of the new local institutions and transformation of the old ones, functioning of these institutions according to Kosovo’s law, cooperation between local institutions in the north and Kosovo’s central institutions, and the formation of the Association/Community of the Serb-majority municipalities. These steps were the focus of a roundtable in the project organized by CIG on December 5-6 in Brussels. In addition, CIG organized for a smaller number of participants from Kosovo and Serbia a discussion with a members of the Delegation for the Western Balkans of the European Parliament.