• English

Municipal elections in northern Kosovo: towards a new balance?

The Central European Policy Institute (CEPI), a regional think tank established by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), in cooperation with BCSP and Democracy for Development Institute (D4D), are proud to present the first from the series of research papers published within the project “Visegrad Support for Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo”. The first paper entitled „Municipal elections in northern Kosovo: towards a new balance?“ was co-authored by Filip Ejdus (Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences/University of Belgrade), Leon Malazogu (Director of the Democracy for Development Institute in Prishtina) and Milan Nic (Head of Balkan Program at CEPI).

The voter turnout in the four Serb-majority northern municipalities on 3 November 2013 will be as important as their relations with Prishtina afterwards. This paper aims to assist all stakeholders to the Brussels Agreement to work effectively toward a positive outcome in the northern Kosovo vote, but also to prepare for contingencies. The EU seems willing to accept a fairly low turnout as a sufficient legal basis for the new municipal institutions. However, it is hard to see any serious contingency preparations – a Plan B – to put things back on track in case of derailment. The paper analyses the latest developments among north Kosovo Serbs, looks at the roles played by Belgrade and Prishtina, and ends with a consideration of four scenarios for the elections and their aftermath.

Supported by the International Visegrad Fund, this project allows CEPI in cooperation with D4D and BCSP  to contribute to long-term normalisation of Serbia-Kosovo relations through a series of fact-finding missions and jointly-drafted research papers and policy briefs with recommendations.  Partners from the Visegrad Group countries include the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Hungarian Institute for International Affairs (HIIA), and Europeum.

This paper is in English only.