Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) organized a visit to the border crossing point in Merdare with the deputies of the Assembly of Kosovo: Time Kadrijaj from AAK, Saranda Bogujevci from LVV and Fidan Rekaliu from LDK to closely monitor the implementation of agreements related to Kosovo- Serbia dialogue. Subsequently, the MPs participated in a public debate with the citizens of the Municipality of Podujevo, where they discussed about their expectations for the future of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
During the visit at the border crossing point in Merdar, Kosovo Assembly deputies were briefed on the overall situation at this border point, the implementation of the IBM agreement, as well as the challenges and problems in implementing the dialogue agreements on the free movement of citizens Some of the concerns raised by the police commander at this border point, Sefat Gashi, were the lack of adequate infrastructure to cope with the large influx of citizens who go to this point, the issue of non-recognition of Kosovo’s documents by of the Serbian side, the denial of vehicle license plates by the side of Serbia and the non-membership of Kosovo in the Green Card, which are creating long waits.
After visiting the border crossing point in Merdare, KDI organized a public debate with the citizens of this region, discussing the future of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as well as citizens’ views on this process.
Jeta Krasniqi from the Kosovo Democratic Institute stressed the need for an increased role of the Assembly of Kosovo, institutional coordination for the future of this process, stressing that the lack of reciprocity in agreements reached as the license plate or the free movement are harming the state of Kosovo by making Serbia privileged and unconditional from Pristina official. M MP Time Kadrijaj, assessed that despite the fact that the dialogue process has aimed at stabilizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia, this has not happened as a result of non-implementation of agreements achieved by the Serbian side. Kadrijaj estimated that in the new phase this process should be transparent, have political consensus, the US to be directly involved and conclude with the mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia.
MP Saranda Bogujevci said that dialogue should be subtracted from elites to citizens, while integration of Kosovo Serb citizens should be done through social equality and economic development and not through institutional privileges. She stressed that in the future the dialogue should include the issue of missing persons, war crimes and Kosovo’s internal affairs not to be part of these talks.
Fidan Rekaliu, deputy of the Kosovo Assembly, said the dialogue should focus on the solution of technical problems that would facilitate the lives of citizens. Rekaliu added that they will support any agreement that is beneficial to Kosovo’s citizens, adding that the Government should play its constitutional role in this process.
In their conversation with citizens, it was stressed their dissatisfaction with the flow of dialogue so far and they stated that the agreements reached did not affect the improvement of their lives. Citizens stressed the need to unify the political spectrum by letting out the daily policies and building a common platform of the state of Kosovo for these talks before the start of the new phase. It was also emphasized the necessity and international guarantees for dialogue agreements.
This visit and public debate were organized in the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between KDI and the Assembly aimed at increasing citizen participation in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as well as strengthening the oversight role of the Assembly towards the Government, with the funding of the Swiss Embassy