Roundtable Discussion: ‘Public Procurement Practices at the Local Level: Challenges in addressing the public expenditures’ mismanagement’

 Event Summary:
On November 15, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a roundtable discussion about the public procurement practices at the municipal level.  The participants in this roundtable discussion focused on the successful measures for enhancing integrity in the public procurement process at the municipal level, policies that can help improve municipal procurement systems, and, in particular, the comparative evidence from good public procurement practices in developing/transition countries. Special attention was devoted to the impact that public procurement activities have in the definition of the index of corruption for Kosovo. Continue reading “Roundtable Discussion: ‘Public Procurement Practices at the Local Level: Challenges in addressing the public expenditures’ mismanagement’”

Panel Discussion: ‘A Comprehensive Agenda for the Northern Kosovo: What does the European Commission’s…’

Event Summary:
On October 21, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a panel discussion about the European Commission’s proposal for a ‘comprehensive agenda for the northern Kosovo’. In particular, the panelists discussed the context of and solutions that could derive from the proposal, the position of the Kosovo government and EU member states on this issue, and the impact that this proposal has vis-à-vis the ongoing dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. Continue reading “Panel Discussion: ‘A Comprehensive Agenda for the Northern Kosovo: What does the European Commission’s…’”

An Ahtisaari ‘Plus’ Paradigm for the northern Kosovo: a Unified or a Divisive Approach for Ethnic Communities in Kosovo?

The events that followed the Kosovo‟s government- owned police action intended to reassert control over the border crossings in the northern Kosovo dominated by ethnic Serbs generated a complex situation, both domestically and internationally. A very common tendency – as anticipated by several rational observers – was that the reaction of local Serbians living in the northern Kosovo would be adjusted to both the aims of the Serbian Government and Serbian opposition political parties that control some of the local leaders in those areas.A number of multifaceted developments therefore pursued these events. On the one hand, local Serbians living in the northern Kosovo were mobilized to confront any action of the Kosovo Government to put into control both border-crossing posts, and on the other, to avert any action that intends to establish a different  governing logic in the northern part of Kosovo. With a new – both political and non-political – approach to resisting any form of control from the international and Kosovo‟s Government authority, local Serbians in the northern Kosovo started to implicitly articulate the Serbia‟s Government request for a northern autonomous territorial entity, later labelled as an “Ahtisaari Plus” solution. Of note is the fact that this solution was never substantively articulated and/or formulated. There is of course another view which reiterates that the Serbian leaders‟ claim for an autonomous north is an ambiguous claim in itself. It goes without saying that considering Kosovo part of Serbia on the one hand, and claiming an autonomous solution for its northern part, on the other, makes this claim both ambiguous and obscure.  You can download this Policy Note by clicking here.

A Comprehensive Agenda for the North: The New European Approach

Being conscious of the latest complex and challenging situation in the northern Kosovo, the European Commission has officially requested in its Enlargement Strategy 2011-2012 that Kosovo adopt ‘a comprehensive agenda for the north’. As it stands, in its part, the European Commission gave no further explanation on this ‘advice’, leaving it as a straightforward contention. Although many perceive this as a simple statement having hardly any effect, one should dare to analyse more profoundly the substance of this request of the European Commission. Therefore, this Policy Note will analyse the substantive meaning and the significance of the European Commission asking Kosovo to adopt a comprehensive agenda for the north, and hints on the possible policy options that could derive thereof. We argue that the comprehensive agenda,nevertheless, should be complemented with an increased pressure of the EU upon Serbia to halt financing and supporting parallel structures in Kosovo. Certainly, Kosovo’s Government must effectively lobby at the EU institutional and member states’ level to transform this in an explicit condition on Serbia’s European integration track.You can download this Policy Note by clicking here.

Panel Discussion: ‘Challenges from an Ahtisaari Plus Paradigm Solution: What do the Leaders of Ethnic…’

Event Summary:
On October 8, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a panel discussion about the growing concerns/claims for a new/different regime for the northern Kosovo. This discussion was timely as local Serbs in the northern Kosovo were gathering at barricades and establishing roadblocks to oppose the Kosovo Government’s takeover of border checkpoints. The participants in this panel discussion highlighted the current challenges and prospects of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and discussed the claims for an Ahtisaari Plus solution for the northern municipalities of Kosovo. Continue reading “Panel Discussion: ‘Challenges from an Ahtisaari Plus Paradigm Solution: What do the Leaders of Ethnic…’”

For a Semi-Presidential Regime: Where is the New-Born Republic Heading?

As a state established under certain international supervisory conditions, Kosovo drafted its first state constitution in a process both straightforward and opaque. The parliamentarian political parties managed and owned the constitutional drafting process,starting immediately after the revelation of the Ahtisaari Settlement Proposal. This control kept this process essentially closed to public opinion and citizen participation,although, in late 2007 and 2008, the parties did organize a limited number of formal debates around Kosovo to discuss the choices. One can sum up this process as one wherein a politically headed commission supervised the constitutional drafting process in which it insisted upon the inclusion of certain partisan-favoured solutions in the newstate Constitution. The resulting Constitution created a consociational model of democracy for Kosovo—quite less rigid than that of Bosnia—and logically and substantially based on the Ahtisaarian prescriptions. Nevertheless, the constitutional status of the President of the Republic carries no value of consociation; instead, it falls well within the margins of intergrationism.You can download this policy report by clicking here.