4 February 2020 – The Kosovo-Serbia Policy Advocacy Group took part in the CSO forum: “Direct Dialogue as a Tool for Regional Stability” with a panel discussing the prospects of EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
The panel, comprised of Ms. Sonja Licht, president of BFPE, Mr. Naim Rashiti Executive Director of BPRG, Ms. Jelica Minic, vice president of EMiS and Mr. Visar Xhambazi, Policy Researcher, D4D, discussed the current state of the dialogue process between Belgrade and Pristina and explore the parties’ key incentives to renew it, as well as the main impediments to its recommencement.
Ms. Sonja Licht, stated that “Although the technical dialogue facilitated by the EU is not happening now for more than a year, we believe it is the only way to move forward. There are people in both societies who think this way. The dialogue is important but it cannot solve all issues.” She said that she personally hopes the political elites will understand this and work for the future, and get not stuck in the past. She concluded that the region has to work together to tell our political leaders they simple must understand if we don’t cooperate we will be side-lined by everybody in international community.
On the other hand, Mr. Rashiti stated that there is a need to understand how we can use dialogue and create normality. We need to find new ways for dialogue between Pishtina and Belgrade through multi-sectoral dialogue, CSO, artists, business community. These kind of kind of cooperation can bring normality and change perception of each other. He stated that ”solutions cannot be imposed by the international community, they need to be initiated by Serbia and Kosovo. Before achieving normalization, we need to achieve normality.”
Jelica Minic in here word stated that “We have many layers of dialogue that we don’t see. The Brussels dialogue is not the only process and we need to strengthen the CSO dimension in it”.
Participants were discussing what CSOs in both societies can do in this process and how they can be more active.
The Forum was organized by NGO Aktiv, partner of KSPAG, in cooperation with partners and with the financial assistance of the Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo, the European Union, the OSCE Mission, the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES.)