11.02.2024. » 19:55 | ACDC

Press release: NGOs respond to statements by Albin Kurti's party

The statement signed by non-governmental organizations Aktiv, Advocacy Center for  Democratic Culture (ACDC), Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER), and New Social Initiative regarding the statements made by Albin Kurti and the political party he leads, Self-Determination.


We are deeply concerned with the fact that on Saturday, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti publicly praised his party's role in opposing:

  • Decentralization as a model of multi-ethnic governance mechanisms created by Martti Ahtisaari, which gave crucial self-management rights to non-majority communities,
  • the proclamation of Special Protective Zones around Serbian Orthodox heritage sites,
  • double majority requirement ("non-democratic MP veto" as Kurti sees it) that prevents majority rule when it comes to amendments of laws of vital interest for non-majority communities
  • and other provisions of the Ahtisaari plan.

A Kosovo Prime Minister must uphold and protect the legal framework, including provisions created to protect the rights related to non-majority communities or other areas of public life. The Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement was international policy response to dramatic demographic changes and forceful expulsion of 1999 and 2004 which led to Kosovo Serb community being pushed out of all urban areas.

Furthermore, we emphasize that acceptance of multi-ethnic governance mechanisms created by Martti Ahtisaari was a precondition for most Western nations to recognize the proclamation of independence of Kosovo. As we could hear from respective representatives of the international community, they are still holding Kosovo authorities responsible to maintain established multi-ethnic governance principles as they are written in the Constitution and the laws. Yesterday, as many times in the past, Kurti continued to promote and encourage violations of constitutionally guaranteed rights, especially ones related to the Kosovo Serb community.

In the international arena, Mr. Kurti regularly praises the rights Kosovo grants to non-majority communities and his alleged extensive consultation on policies affecting non-majority communities through existing power sharing mechanisms. In front of the domestic audience however, he brands the said protection mechanisms "monoethnic concessions" and "the cause of problems" that brought many consequences. This is hypocritical and endangers the existing order. It also exposes this government's false dedication to multiethnic Kosovo and power-sharing mechanisms.

For example, the ongoing crisis in the north started escalating in 2022 with government's violation of two specific provisions from the Ahtisaari's package that were later embedded in the Constitution – the provisions guaranteeing reflection of ethnic composition in the police in primary policing areas. This government started openly violating this provision in February 2022 with building of monoethnic Special Police Bases on illegally expropriated private land thus creating the second layer of policing and undermining competencies of the Regional Directorate North, established in Brussels negotiations as a security guarantee to Kosovo Serb community in the north. This and previous and subsequent dismantlement of other agreements that accommodate the Kosovo Serb community show that the ruling party is using Rule of Law as an excuse to enact its ideological opposition to Kosovo's non-majority protection mechanisms.

Finally, by accepting the Agreement on the Path to Normalization of Relations between Kosovo and Serbia, the Government of Kosovo agreed not only to the self-management mechanism for Kosovo Serbs but also to the special status of the Serbian Orthodox Church. This is why, we expect the international community's reaction, in particular the EU, Germany and France, and condemnation of Kosovo PM Albin Kurti's statements and the actions of his government that undermine the protection mechanisms of the non-majority communities and label them as problems.

NGO Aktiv,

Advocacy Center for  Democratic Culture (ACDC),

Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER), and

New Social Initiative (NSI)