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The (Sub) Prime of Lady Catherine Ashton

7:24 AM, Dec 13, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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Still, Dacic boasted that under the agreement supervised by Ashton, his coethnics in northern Kosovo would possess an autonomous “community” with a mini-capital in the turbulent northern part of Mitrovica, a divided mining city in northern Kosovo where Serbs have driven Albanians out. The Serbian leader said the “community” would have its own “assembly, president, and council . . . a type of government.”

Koha Ditore, in a sidebar, warned that the agreement was very different in reality from what little was leaked to media. The daily cited provisions it deemed illegal, for institutionalization of the Serbian parallel “judicial” structures by recognition of a separate Serbian appeals court in north Mitrovica, appointment of a Serb regional police commander responsible for four northern districts, and “supervisory authority” granted to an association of municipalities with “ethnically-cleansed” Serb majorities.

These concessions to Serbia violate three laws established by Kosovo: those on police, courts, and local self-government, according to Koha Ditore.

Members of the Kosovar opposition to Thaci and the PDK were more direct in their condemnation of the outcome of ten sessions of Kosovo-Serbia talks. Vjosa Osmani, a representative of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK, which preached and practiced nonviolence historically and was inactive in the 1998-99 Kosovo war, described the publicly-available text of the agreement as “mysterious.” She disapproved of its failure to include disbanding of the Serbian parallel structures in northern Kosovo, and its grant of executive power to their political backers.

The Self-Determination Movement (known as LVV in Albanian), a mainly-young party that holds the third-largest number of deputies in the Assembly of Kosovo, the national parliament, after the PDK and LDK, rejected Ashton’s proposals. Through its deputy leader Shpend Ahmeti, LVV warned that the agreement would replicate the partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Kosovo, with a territorial split between ethnic groups. The division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into a “Serbian Republic,” founded on murder and expulsion of non-Serbs, and a “Muslim-Croatian Federation,” was imposed by the Dayton peace conference of 1995 and is unchanged today.

In the nine months since Ashton revealed the outcome of the Kosovo negotiations in Brussels, the situation inside Kosovo has remained tense. The Serbia-Kosovo agreement was ratified by the Assembly of Kosovo in June. In September, as described in the Wall Street Journal, Audrius Senavicius, 35, a Lithuanian customs officer employed by the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) died, and a Czech officer accompanying him was admitted to hospital after a shooting attack on their car in Zvecan, a Serbian enclave near north Mitrovica. Six EULEX employees, altogether, were riding in two vehicles when they were targeted.

The EU offered a reward of 27,500 euros (about $38,000) for information in the case, but no suspects have been identified, three months later.

The Lithuanian government said Senavicius had gone to Kosovo in August 2012. Prior to June 2013, Koha Ditore revealed, EU customs officials had travelled to their work on the Kosovo-Serbia border by helicopter. But in the aftermath of Lady Ashton’s “success” with the Serbs and Kosovars in Brussels, and accompanied by her loud congratulations, the officers had begun driving to their stations. As Koha Ditore put it, “Roads in the north [are] deadly even for EU officials.”

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