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Security Aspects of Normalization of Belgrade-Prishtina-Tirana Relations

27 June 2014, Media Center, Belgrade

On 27 June 2014, Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS) and Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) organized a public event in Belgrade, as part of the 6th meeting of the Security Research Forum: “Belgrade-Prishtina-Tirana”.

The conference focused on the “Security Aspects of Normalization of Belgrade-Prishtina-Tirana Relations” and especially on the role of police in this process and the implementation of the overall security aspect of such process.

The first panel revolved on the implementation of Brussels Agreement, and particularly on the security aspects. The three panelists, IDM Senior Researcher, Arjan Dyrmishi, KCSS Executive Director, Florian Qehaja, and BSCP Director, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, presented their perspectives on achievements and challenges in the implementation of security clauses as of the Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue, in addition to the facilitating role of the European Union in the process of normalization.

 In this regard, Arjan Dyrmishi argued that the implementation of the Brussels agreement is a grand prospect for the future relations between Albanians and Serbs.

“Albanian politicians were always reserved in advancing Albania’s relations with Serbia, in a process which has been always affected by the Kosovo factor, in addition of some other issues directly related to the history of Albania-Serbia relations.. Expectations are high that the new political elite, led by Prime Minister Rama, will work towards the improvement of relations, but this improvement is still not visible enough in real life”, argued Dyrmishi. As for the relations between the Albanian Government, coming out of the last June (2013) elections in Albania, and Kosovo Government, it is being noted a new approach from the former, free of any paternalism, built on a more reciprocal interests. He brought some statistics related to bilateral agreements signed so far between Albania and Serbia from one hand and Albania and Kosovo from the other. The difference (18 agreements with Serbia vs. 41 with Kosovo) is very indicative that the process of “relations normalization” between Albania and Serbia is very sluggish and very much affected by the paces that this process is progressing between Serbia and Kosovo.  

The second panel focused on the role of police in the normalization of Albanian-Serbian relations and the integration of ethnic minorities in security institutions. The panel presented the main findings of the three joint publications by KCSS and BCSP researchers – Sofije Kryeziu, Maja Bjelos and Shpend Kursani – which were done in parallel in Prishtina and Belgrade, as part of Exchange of Researchers, falling under the Security Research Forum framework.

The panel shared also the perspectives and experiences of two institutional representatives, Riza Halimi, Member of the Serbian Parliament (Albanian nationality), and Slaviša Arsenijević, representative from Serbian Ministry of Interior.