April 19 Agreement

The agreement “will help us heal the wounds of the past,” Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told the media shortly after the agreement was signed in Brussels. “This is the best possible offer,” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told the national press. To reach an agreement, it has used ten meetings at the highest level since last summer. The two men`s past gives an idea of the distance they both travelled. A long time ago, Dacic was the spokesman for former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. He was a fighter with the Kosovo Liberation Army. In this context, the presence of the international community is essential for the implementation of all agreements, he stressed. Serbia therefore considered that UNMIK should continue to exercise its mandate and ensure that it only acts within a status-neutral framework. The mission`s current mandate must remain unchanged and be actively strengthened, he said, also calling for more effective cooperation with the European Union`s mission for the rule of law (EULEX). “Aware of the magnitude and importance of the task ahead of us, we have made tremendous efforts and harnessed our full potential to reach an agreement, make life easier for all in the province and move closer to lasting reconciliation.” MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) described the agreement as historic and called it a turning point in relations between Serbia and Kosovo, opening the door to genuine integration into the European Union.

The agreement reflected considerable progress in tariffs, VAT and checkpoint management. He expressed the hope that this would lead to final agreements and extend to the crucial issue of free movement and said that the parties had shown courage and that it was necessary not to become familiar with the past. Instead, you should look to the future. He welcomed the creation of a special police unit to patrol cultural and religious sites. With only 2 pages, the agreement has 15 paragraphs. Paragraphs 1 to 6 concern the establishment, scope and functions of a proposed community of Serbian communes. Paragraphs 7 to 9 concern police and security structures and provide for the organization of a police unit for the whole of Kosovo, including its northern parts, known as the “Kosovo Police”. Paragraph 11 provides that local elections are held throughout Kosovo in accordance with Kosovo law.

Paragraph 12 provides for an implementation plan and sets a date (to date) for the completion of the plan. Paragraph 13 contains a commitment to intensify discussions on energy and telecommunications. Paragraph 14 states that “neither side will block the other side`s progress on their respective EU trajectories or encourage others to block them.” Paragraph 15 provides for the creation of an enforcement committee with the EU.