Kosovo, Agreement with the EU on De-escalation in the North of the Country

Normalization attempts in Kosovo. Albin Kurti, prime minister of the republic, formally an autonomous region of Serbia, announced a “de-escalation” agreement reached with the European Union.

“Our government has reached an agreement on the next steps to de-escalate in the north and normalize relations with Serbia. This demonstrates our willingness to take specific measures to ensure peace, security, and stability in Kosovo and the region, to serve the purpose of democracy and the rule of law,” Kurti explained via Twitter.

The agreements provide for an immediate 25% reduction of the police that occupies government buildings in the north of the country. This is a Serb-majority area where riots erupted a month ago after the election of ethnic Albanian mayors (the Serbs themselves refused to participate). New elections will be announced after summer in the 4 northern municipalities, and at the same time the question on whether or not to continue the police reduction will be coordinated with the EU Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and the NATO contingent in Kosovo (KFOR). In the meantime, the EU will invite the heads of Serbian and Kosovo negotiators to finalize the agreement and continue normalizing the relations.