Dear Ms. Mogherini,
Kosovo civil society organizations have been engaged sincerely for decades in close cooperation with international partners, particularly the European Union (EU), in state building efforts in Kosovo. We have actively sought to nurture and cultivate principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability in a multiethnic and multicultural society. We know that the only way to establish lasting peace and stability in the region rests upon our acceptance and fostering of multi-ethnicity.
We have continuously criticized our political leaders, who have failed to manage both the EU Accession process and the dialogue with Serbia in the best interest of Kosovo citizens. We will continue to hold them accountable for their failures.
Furthermore, Kosovo civil society organizations have been very active in denouncing any local attempts to introduce ethnic divisions and have deeply opposed any propositions to divide Western Balkan states on the basis of ethnicity, which we believe history has shown would hold catastrophic consequences for stability in the region. We also have been engaged actively, and sometimes at our own detriment, in building bridges of communication and cooperation among Albanians, Serbs and other ethnic groups within and outside Kosovo. We have partnered with the international community in a very painful, but we believe as necessary, process of reconciliation. We believe that this is essential as a basis for ensuring reestablishment of mutual trust, which in turn would lead to freedom of movement, business cooperation and conducive conditions for development of democratic processes in Kosovo.
Seeing the EU as a key ally in the important reforms that need to happen in our country, the undersigned Kosovo civil society organizations, kindly urge you to review your efforts and policy towards “normalization” of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. We are deeply concerned that the approach of the EU towards Kosovo, including some of your recent statements, may produce extremely damaging, albeit unintended consequences in Kosovo, including the rise of ethnic tensions which could endanger not only peace in the region, but also diminish the impact of two decades of peacekeeping and state building. Despite an ongoing dialogue between both countries, Serbia has openly and consistently undermined Kosovo’s statehood at various levels, for which no explicit condemnation has taken place by your side. Therefore:
We appeal to you to refrain from one-sided statements so to maintain the credibility of your role as mediator between Kosovo and Serbia;
We petition you to refrain from pursuing further the ethnic based exchange of territories between Kosovo and Serbia, which is against all values on which EU has been established and continuously promotes;
We urge you to strongly reconsider the EU’s approach towards Kosovo, considering that all framework policies adopted by the EU recently, including the Western Balkans Enlargement Strategy, have failed to establish a clear European membership path for Kosovo; this holds great risks for the EU to lose the strong support for EU accession that has existed in Kosovo to date, as citizens grow weary of the lack of progress and broken promises related to what they have thus far believed in as Kosovo’s European future;
We call upon you to ensure that all your actions contribute to an equal treatment of Kosovo as other countries of the region, so to avoid a detrimental impact on popular support of the EU integration as a national aim of Kosovo.
Thus far, we believe that Kosovo has been convinced to make very painful compromises, while the promises made by the EU have not been kept.
We thank you for your attention and look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the EU as an essential partner in furthering important reforms in our country.
Civil Society Organizations supporting this letter:
Asociacioni për Shoqëri Civile Mitrovicë
Centre for Research Documentation and Publication – CRDP
Center for Education and Training – CET Prizren
Civil Rights Program Kosovo – CRP/K
Community Development Fund – CDF
Hëna e Kuqe e Kosovës
Iniciativa Kosovare për Stabilitet – IKS
Instituti Demokratik i Kosovës – KDI
Institue for Development Policy – INDEP
Instituti Demokraci për Zhvillim – D4D
Instituti Kosovar për Qeverisje Lokale – KLGI
Instituti i Kosovës për Drejtësi – IKD
Institute for Accounting, Auditing and Finance – KAF
Initiative for Progress – INPO
Këshilli për Mbrojtjen e të Drejtave dhe Lirive të Njeriut – KMDLNJ
Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development – KIPRED
Kosovo Civil Society Foundation – KCSF
Kosovo Foundation of Cultural Heritage without Borders – CHwB Kosovo
Kosovo Education Center – KEC
Kosovar Youth Council – KYC
Kosova Population Foundation – KOPF
Leadership and Growth Council – LGC
Let’s Do It Kosova
Let’s Do It Peja
Organizata për Rritjen e Cilësisë në Arsim – ORCA
Organizata e Personave me Distrofi Muskulare ne Ferizaj – OPDMF
Public Organization for Local Initiatives and Supports – POLIS
Qendra për Avokim dhe Politika – QPA
Qendra Kosovare per hulumtime urbane PRO-Planning
Rrjeti i Grupit të Grave të Kosovës – RRGK
Rrjeti i edukatorëve bashkëmoshatar – PEN
STIKK – The Kosovo ICT Association
Syri i Vizionit
Shoqata Down Syndrome Kosova
Shoqata e Intelektualëve të Pavarur Deçan
Today Towards Future