EU Statement on the recent developments in Kosovo*1

OSCE Special Permanent Council No. 1398, Vienna, 10 November 2022.

1.The recent developments in the relations between Belgrade and Pristina put years ofhard work and achievements reached under the EU-facilitated Dialogue at risk andhamper the security situation in the region. The European Union calls on both sidesto refrain from any unilateral actions, which might lead to further tensions.

2.The withdrawal of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo institutions is not a solution to thecurrent disputes. It has the potential to further escalate the tensions on the ground.We call on Serbia and Kosovo Serb representatives to respect their Dialogueobligations and return to the Kosovo institutions to fulfil their duties, including in theassembly, the police, judiciary and local administrations.

3.At the same time, the EU again urges the Kosovo authorities to respect their ownobligations without delay. This means immediately extending the process of re-registration of vehicles and suspending any punitive action against KM plate holders.The licence plates issue can be resolved by the sides under the Dialogue.

4.The EU also calls on Pristina to place immediately on the agenda the establishmentof the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities. The Kosovo assemblyhas ratified the Brussels Agreement and the Kosovo constitutional court ruled thatthe Association/Community needs to be established.

5. It is the responsibility of the sides to ensure peace and stability. Any actions, such as burning of cars, or intimidating rhetoric that could lead to tensions, are unacceptable and will trigger an appropriate reaction by the international community.

6. In close coordination with KFOR and the Kosovo Police, the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) as second security responder stands ready to ensure stability on the ground. Together with KFOR, EULEX will continue providing support to maintain a safe and secure environment in line with the respective mandates.

7. The EU urges the sides to choose the path of Dialogue in earnest, and refrain from any action that would lead to violence and confrontation. The EU stands ready to continue to facilitate negotiations, but both sides need to show readiness to seek solutions in a constructive manner and respect their obligations made in the Dialogue.

The Candidate Countries NORTH MACEDONIA* and MONTENEGRO*, the Potential Candidate Country BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA*, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
* North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

*1 This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and theICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.