Press Releases Kosovo: Statement by the Spokesperson on by-elections in the north

Kosovo: Statement by the Spokesperson on by-elections in the north

The European Union took note of yesterday’s four mayoral by-elections and two municipal assembly by-elections in the municipalities of Leposavić/q, North Mitrovica/e, Zvečan/Zveçan, and Zubin Potok.

The EU recognizes that the elections were held in line with the legal framework of Kosovo and that efforts were undertaken for them to take place in a smooth and orderly manner.

At the same time, the EU regrets that not all parties and communities made use of their democratic right to participate and vote in the elections.

The very low turnout, in particular among Kosovo Serb citizens, shows that this process is not and cannot be considered business as usual.

Participation in electoral processes has the aim to ensure that the voices of the communities the elected leaders represent, will be heard.

Since the Kosovo Serbs left Kosovo institutions in the north of Kosovo in November 2022, the EU has been consistently engaging with both Parties to facilitate their return.

These elections do not offer a long-term political solution for these municipalities. This can only happen through permanent return of Kosovo Serbs to the institutions, and for Kosovo to enable this return. The work on the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb majority Municipalities needs to be finalised as soon as possible.

It is imperative that we urgently restore a situation where Kosovo Serbs participate actively in local governance, policing and judiciary in the north of Kosovo. There is an urgent need for a serious dialogue between the Government of Kosovo and Kosovo Serbs in the north to this end. So far little progress has been made. Therefore, we need both sides to play their role and fulfil their commitments. 

The Agreement on the path to normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is the right platform to achieve this objective.

The EU welcomes the professionalism of the Kosovo Police, its Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), and KFOR in ensuring a secure environment for the elections.

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