By: Mahir Yağcılar, member of Parliament Presidency and Chairman of Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo (TDPK)
What should the future of Kosovo be? – There is no mutual agreement yet and there are still completely opposite views.
There is no use of returning to the past, because it will make us face with endless arguments. Kosovo should have a future and hope for all its citizens. This future implies stability and prosperity for everyone. This is something what Kosovar citizens, and especially young people want and are asking for. Without hope there is no future, and without future, hope cannot exist. For this reason, Kosovo cannot remain a separate and isolated part of Europe. It cannot remain outside European and world mainstreams.
New Kosovar generation cannot be left in darkness and isolated from the world of information only because of the questions; who Kosovo belongs to, and what government Kosovo needs?
Kosovo is administered by UN, NATO armed forces (KFOR), OSCE mission, and many other international missions of the most important countries. Kosovo today has its own president, parliament and its government, which function based on democratic rules of the modern world. Laws are passed in line with EU principles. The Government is responsible for approving and implementing of executive decisions, whereas security is provided by KFOR forces. At the same time, Kosovo Police Service (KPS) and Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), do their jobs within their competencies.
The customs, education and health system, social policies, privatization, are developed in line with EU principles. Euro is the official currency. All these activities are supervised and the final decision on them is made by UNMIK Administration headed by the SRSG.
Despite the difficulties and deficiencies the system of life and government may have, it is developed independently from the processes and events in Serbia and independently from the impact of Belgrade authorities. It means that there is a new reality in the region and in Kosovo. This is a reality of independence and of getting rid from Belgrade rule.
The will of majority is for independence. It is also a reality, that a large number of Serbs have sold their properties in a legal way, and somehow they have declared themselves that they do not see their future in Kosovo.
Why this happened? This has happened for many reasons, but first of all due to the mistakes of the previous regime. This new reality makes the Kosovar people feel optimistic about their future. More than 90% of these people are Albanians, at least 50% of them are younger than 20, knowing very little about the past, expecting a lot from the future.
Serbs, which make less than 10% of the population, want Kosovo to return pre 1999 situation. But this is impossible, first of all due to the discrimination applied by previous regime. The mistakes of the previous regime lead towards a new conflict, which resulted in a defeat of Serbia from the greatest powers and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The people of Kosovo, especially Albanians realized their aspirations for freedom. The previous state was changed once and for all. Therefore Kosovo through internationally mediated negotiations must gain the final status, different from the current one, and this is a gained right which must result with the recognition of the new constitutional-legal status of Kosovo as a state.
A small percentage of the people, consisting of Turks, Bosniacs, Romas, Ashkanli, Egyptians and Gorans want peace and prosperity and they want to respect the state in which they live, believing that they will be able to realize their own rights in the internationally recognized state.
If wee see the basic principles of the Contact Group; no unification of Kosovo with other countries, no changing of borders, no return to 1999 situation, and that the status quo is unsustainable, we can conclude, taking into account the will of majority in Kosovo, that the conditions have been ripened for creation of a new state in Europe, the state of Kosovo.
This solution should be rounded up through talks that have already started, and it should be guaranteed by a new UN SC resolution. Whereas, Serbia and Kosovo must pursue their own paths towards EU and meet in EU as two sovereign independent entities.
Neither Serbia nor Kosovo should represent any burden to each other in this aspect. Integration into EU will give an end to the disagreements between these two nations and will impact in creation of a sustainable stability in the region.
On its path towards EU, Kosovo must be based on those principles, where everyone will have their own rights, elementary freedoms, here no one will be discriminated in any basis. This includes ratification and respecting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and other smilar documents.
Special legal provisions must be enforced to guarantee the cultural and political rights of all communities and citizens of Kosovo.
Further monitoring by the European institutions is necessary during the process of building of the state of Kosovo, integration of communities living in Kosovo. The parliamentary mechanisms should be established for the protection of vital interests which will assure an affordable election system, and which will ensure continuation of the application of reserved seats at the Parliament for minorities
In the coming period, a significant attention should be paid to institutional support to preserving and developing of languages, education, culture and traditions of minorities.
The main role for protection of minorities belongs to the Albanian majority and their leaders, but also to the international community. Whereas the other communities should articulate clearly their demands and their readiness to take over a part of the responsibility for building a common future in Kosovo.
In the end of the day, everyone want to live in his country and realize the hopes for a better life. For this reason, no past or political disagreement, should deny to the citizens of Kosovo the right for a better life expressed through people’s will.