Serbia- Kosovo relations: Brussels agreement is a positive step ahead


Well, we all know this. Serbia used to include the area, which is now known as Kosovo. However, Kosovo started forming its own militant separatist cells. Upon finding out this, Serbia decided to stop this and from then on, things got ugly. After many years, maybe there is some shimmer of hope for the two countries. Regarded as a truly historic event, Kosovo and Serbia signed an agreement in Brussels on 19 April.

Almost 14 years following the war between Kosovo and Serbia, this agreement marks the first formalized type of agreement, which suggests the existence of normal relations between the neighbors. This agreement has also paved way to the membership of the EU, thereby raising hopes for the entire region. This is a welcome move and EU diplomats are receiving this with open arms. Nonetheless, all is not over yet. There still exists some amount of uncertainty regarding the implementation of the agreement.

In reaction to the deal signed, Kosovo Serb representatives reacted by putting up demonstrations in North Mitrovica to oppose the deal. In fact, this holds no weight as from July 2010, the international court of justice concluded that Serbia had no real means of opposing the status of Kosovo.

In this deal signed between the two once hostile neighbors, the merger of the four Serb municipalities in the north are now subject to Kosovo law. Kosovo would now have control over areas like economic development, healthcare, education and town planning. Security is one area that remains dubious. As per the deal, Kosovo police force will be deployed in the north. However, the regional commander posted in the north would be a Serb.

With regard to justice, a part of the Kosovo court will be placed in the north. However, the judges are mainly Serbs. Local councilors will be elected following Kosovo law. Additionally, Nato Kosovo Force will be deployed during these election periods and will help maintain law and order. Perhaps, the most important part of the deal is that both neighbors would no longer hinder each other’s efforts to gain EU membership.

Following the sealing of the agreement, Serbian prime minister, Ivica Dacic is reported to have told that this agreement brings about the best possible situation for Kosovo and Serbia. Since March 2011, dialogues had been ongoing in attempts to improve the living conditions of those living in the north. However, it took a long time for a settlement to come about from both parties. Finally, the nationalist government, which came to power following the 2012 general elections in Serbia declared that Kosovo was no longer subject to Serb sovereignty and could run its own capital.

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