The publication The Perspective on the Technical Dialogue Agreements between Belgrade and Pristina published by the Group for Advocacy of Public Policies of Belgrade and Pristina was presented at the Media Center in Belgrade.
The publication is a collection of articles about the benefits of the agreements that are the result of the Technical Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the European Union auspices. The effects that they have on the lives of citizens is highlighted in the articles, as well as the role that technical dialogue had in normalization of relations between both sides. The authors of the articles, the citizens and the experts from Serbia and Kosovo have given their personal perspective and experience, also giving concrete recommendations for improvement of the agreements’ implementation and identifying new obstacles that need to be resolved so that true normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina can be achieved.
Jelica Minić, the President of The European Movement in Serbia has pointed out in the beginning that it was a pleasure to work on this project and that all the members of consortium will remain persistent in further promotion of normal communication between the citizens.
“The authors of these articles are exactly that – citizens and the experts that are offering their view on life in these circumstances”, said Minić and explained that, in the book, their personal experiences about positive results of many agreements of technical dialogue can be found, such as those about energetic, freedom of movement, jurisdiction, security seals, integrated border management (IBM) and European Agreement of 30 September 1957 concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).
The goal of the project is to help the citizens of all communities in Kosovo and Serbia to understand what is exactly affecting the changes in their lives, added Sonja Licht, president of Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE).
Marko Savković, program director of BFPE, has stated that in the past 16 months, there have been 66 activities organized as the part of the project, both in Kosovo and in Serbia. Seventeen columns and articles have been published in Serbian and Kosovo media, inter alia, whose main idea was to question persistent narratives when it comes to relationship between the communities. He thinks this sends a message that it is important for the process to be transparent and known what has been agreed on but also that the achieved results are interpreted in the same manner.
Two authors of the publications have also been part of the event – Jovana Radosavljević, executive director of the New Social Initiative in Severna Mitrovica and Nikola Burazer, the program director of Center for contemporary politics and executive editor for the portal European Western Balkans.
Radosavljević has explained in which way the lives of the citizens have been changed since the Brussels dialogue.
“The situation today is drastically different than in 2011, when it was impossible to imagine even travelling to Kosovo, especially with your own car. Cohabitation has been significantly improved. The Serbs have become a part of Pristina’s institutions, the elections are held by Kosovo’s system”, she said.
According to her words, there is a big ethnical distance in the South, for realistic reasons, but also because of the stereotypes.
Nikola Burazer reminded everyone of controversies that have been provoked by accidental encounters between authorities of Serbia and Kosovo around ten years ago that has been talked about and written for days at the time. He says that what we have today was completely unimaginable two, five, or ten years ago.