Community of Serb municipalities, Kosovo
|Community of Serbian municipalities
Заједница српских општина
Zajednica srpskih opština
Shoqata e komunave Serbe
Location of the Association of Serb municipalities within Kosovo.
|Capital||North Kosovska Mitrovica|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The Community of Serbian municipalities (Serbian: Заједница српских општина / Zajednica Srpskih Opština; Albanian: Shoqata e komunave Serbe) is expected in 2015 to be an association of municipalities with Serb majority in Kosovo.[a]
The Community was initially formed as the Association of Serb Municipalities and Settlements of Kosovo and Metohija (Zajednica srpskih opština i naselja Kosova i Metohije) in February 2003 in Mitrovica, as an association of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo and was considered illegitimate by the Albanian authorities of Kosovo, as it exercised legislative and executive authority over its territory, mostly in North Kosovo, through its Assembly. After the Brussels Agreement it was reformed as the Community of Serbian municipalities and its Assembly holds no legislative authority any more, having only a "full overview power in the areas of economic development, education, health, urban and rural planning" in accordance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government and Kosovo law.
Its formation is predicted by the Brussels Agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. This agreement represents an important step in process of accession of Serbia to the European Union. By this agreement, it was also agreed that Serbia will not block accession of Kosovo to the European Union and vice versa. This agreement was also praised by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said that it guarantees broad powers to municipalities with Serb majority in Kosovo. The Community includes these municipalities: North Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Leposavić, Zvečan, Štrpce, Klokot-Vrbovac, Gračanica, Novo Brdo, Ranilug, Parteš, and possibly Dragaš. In one interview for Radio Television of Kosovo, Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi said that the establishment of an Association of Serb municipalities is in essence acceptable by the Constitution of Kosovo and Ahtisaari Plan, while the AAK party leader Ramush Haradinaj supported this by saying that the Constitution of Kosovo allows the association of municipalities, but without holding legislative, judicial or executive power.  In November 2014, Ljubomir Marić, one of the co-ordinators with the duty of establishing the Community of Serb Municipalities stated that it would be based on the South Tyrol model in Italy and that he expected to establish two more Serb municipalities in Gora and Prilužje.
Criticisms in the Albanian community
The Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Pristina was criticized by representatives of Albanians in south Serbia as they believe that the Brussels agreement gives Serbs in Kosovo autonomy, and thus warrants a similar level of autonomy for the three Serbian municipalities, in Serbia proper, which have an Albanian majority.  The radical Albanian nationalist party Vetëvendosje! has also staged violent protests against the agreement, as they believe that an autonomous Serb region within Kosovo would cripple the country's sovereignty and cement ethnic partition.
Criticisms in the Serbian community
The Brussels agreement has been criticized by the Democratic Party of Serbia which argued that it makes no mention of Serbia or its Constitution and laws, or UN Security Council Resolution 1244, while it does mention the Kosovo Constitution and laws, and therefore demanded a referendum on it. The Serbian Orthodox Church has called the agreement "a complete withdrawal of Serbia's institutions from the territory of its southern province and setting up limited autonomy of the Serb community in the area to the north of the Ibar bridge in Mitrovica within Hashim Thaçi's establishment". Serbs in Northern Kosovo have also rallied against the agreement, and in support of the Assembly's continued rule in the Serb-majority municipalities.
There are ten municipalities in Kosovo with an ethnic Serb majority. Association would include these municipalities: North Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Leposavić, Zvečan, Štrpce, Klokot-Vrbovac, Gračanica, Novo Brdo, Ranilug and Parteš. Community has a total population of approximately 140,000 people.
Largest cities or towns of Association of Serb municipalities
North Kosovska Mitrovica
|1||North Kosovska Mitrovica||District of Mitrovica||22,000||
|2||Leposavić||District of Mitrovica||20,600|
|3||Zvečan||District of Mitrovica||17,000|
|4||Gračanica, Kosovo||District of Pristina||11,006|
|5||Zubin Potok||District of Mitrovica||8,479|
|6||Štrpce||District of Ferizaj||6,913|
|7||Novo Brdo||District of Pristina||6,720|
|8||Ranilug||District of Pristina||3,785|
|9||Parteš||District of Gjilan||2,865|
|10||Klokot||District of Gjilan||2,556|
- North Kosovo
- Joint Council of Municipalities
- Assembly of the Community of Serbian municipalities
- Brussels Agreement
Notes and References
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- . inserbia.info. 2013-11-20 http://inserbia.info/today/2013/11/community-of-serb-municipalities-in-kosovo-to-be-formed/. Retrieved 2014-03-30. Missing or empty
- "ODLUKA IZ BRISELA". Heinrich Böll Foundation. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Danas sjednica Vijeća sigurnosti o Kosovu". Al Jazeera Balkans. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- ""South Tyrol model for Serb municipalities"". B92. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Albanci iz Doline" (in Serbian). Peščanik. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "DSS demands referendum and resignations". B92. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- "Church criticizes Brussels agreement". B92. 22 April 2-13. Retrieved 10 December 2013. Check date values in:
- "Serbs in north say no to Kosovo agreement". B92. 22 April 2-13. Retrieved 10 December 2013. Check date values in: