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Round Table: Technical Agreements between Belgrade and Pristina - Transport, energy, trade

Published at: 2019-03-18

15 March 2019, Kraljevo —

European Movement in Serbia, as a member of “Kosovo – Serbia Policy Advocacy Group” supported by the European Union, organized a Round table “Technical agreements between Belgrade and Pristina – Transport, Energy, Trade”, at the National Library in Kraljevo. 

As a part of the project on informing the general public and promoting the benefits and results of the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, facilitated by the European Union, this Round table brought together representatives of CSOs working on European integration, experts and representatives of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Presenting the agreements of the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, such as judiciary, energy and telecommunications, Suzana Grubjesic, secretary general of the European Movement in Serbia, stated the importance of this process.

“The implementation of the technical agreements is one of the biggest challenges in Serbia's European integration road, it requires reforms and modernization, as well as progress in all areas”, Grubjesic said.

At the round table it was estimated that the economy should not be used for political purposes.

Miroslav Miletic, Advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce in Serbia, pointed out that today the trade relations between Belgrade and Pristina are burdened with problems such as decision on taxation, but he stated the excellent cooperation between the chambers of commerce before the outbreak of the crisis.

“We are proud of the cooperation between the two chambers of commerce in connecting companies, facilitating trade inspections, as well as participation in trade fairs and regional cooperation”, Miletic said.

According to Aleksandar Kovacevic, from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, due to the growing competitive pressures both economies depend on changes in the wider environment, such as changes in relative energy prices, access to transport infrastructure and port facilities.

He warned of “the dramatic level of pollution exposed to both sides due to the dominant role of thermal power plants in energy systems”.

Jovana Jakovljevic, from the Institute for Territorial Economic Development, expressed concerns that the implementation of technical agreements has deficiency, in dynamics, lack of results, as well as issues with agreements whose implementation has not started yet.

“There are challenges in implementing technical agreements, but it is most important to take into account the quality of life of people whose life depends on these agreements”, Jakovljevic said.

Around 35 participants were attending the round table, coming from the city mayor office of Kraljevo, city council, municipal councilors, representatives of local companies, regional chamber of commerce, local and regional NGOs and youth organizations. In expressing their views, the participants pointed that there are political constraints in the implementation of the agreements, but also mentioned the necessity for overcoming obstacles.

At the round table it was stated that the implementation of technical agreements is important for improving the lives of citizens and the European perspective of both societies.

This Round table is part of the activities anticipated in the “Promoting and Communicating Benefits of the Pristina – Belgrade EU Facilitated Dialogue” project, implemented by the KSPAG.

This round table was organised with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of are the sole responsibility of Kosovo-Serbia Policy Advocacy Group Consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.