Young democracy needs time

Ulrike Lunacek on Kosovo: A critical friendship

, by Sara Avdi

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Young democracy needs time
Ulrike Lunacek during Plenary Session in Strasbourg - Week 37 © European Union

Ulrike Lunacek an Austrian politician. Ms. Lunacek used to be a Member of Parliament of the National Council of Austria, and since 2009 is a Member of the European Parliament for Austria, and a member of the Austrian party - The Green Alternative. Also the Kosovo rapporteur too the European Parliament.

Her main role as the Kosovo rapporteur is to follow up on the progress report, she calls on her relationship with Kosovo a critical friendship.

As the institutions in Kosovo are formed can we expect them to be stable, Ms. Lunacek has stated that the elected parliament should take into account that they were elected through an irregular process.

The government of Kosovo has to take problems seriously; it has been proven in the past that they take issues as the welfare and the image of Kosovo too lightly. The government of Kosovo even with the support of the international community and the European Union special representative in Kosovo, the country faces challenges that the current government is not working effectively towards solving, one might think they expect the European Union too also solve the country’s internal issues. Ms. Lunacek states that they have to work hard, on the country’s economy, but especially on the issues concerning the young people, only working on the country’s economic challenges will not solve the problems the country has, huge tasks lie in front of them.

Towards a European future

Kosovo’s way to the EU was blocked even before the elections, but the Dick Marty report did not help Kosovo’s image either. So the “election” promise Mr.Thaqi made to his voters on receiving visa liberalization seems to be like many of his other promises, one he cannot keep.

Kosovo’s government has to deliver, show people and the European Union that they take things seriously, if there are people close to the Prime Minister Hashim Thaqi or any other official, which is under investigation, he has to support the investigations, says Ulrike Lunacek.

Ulrike Lunacek points out that the election fraud in the last election was not spontaneous, but was rather premeditated by organized groups, and these groups should be legally held responsible and they should realize that what they did was inadmissible, and that the citizens of Kosovo will not tolerate it. The citizens of Kosovo also need to realize that the government is there to support its people and not the other way around.

She also mentions that there is video coverage of the irregularities that have been made during the last elections and they have been taken to court but nothing concrete has happened yet. The irregularities have also been made by other parties, not only by the main ruling party (PDK) that partly came out of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

She points that the current government and the parliament needs to push the country forward and not hold it back. And with all due respect to the KLA and all it did for its country but Kosovo needs the new generation to step up and play a key role in its integration into the European Union, if the current leaders of Kosovo cannot deliver one would assume they would have to step down, their task thought by many was to liberate Kosovo, that task is done.

Current leaders of Kosovo need to put their personal interests aside and step down from what only can be described as disastrous governance by the PDK party, also the current ruling party led by current Prime Minister Hashim Thaqi, he has often been accused of corruption, drugs and organ smuggling.

Concerning the state of Kosovo’s image, it does not help the country to have the head of the government being accused of corruption and organ smuggling; it might send out a wrong message to the European Union member states. Might it be that criminal networks in Kosovo are encouraging political instability and that they have no interest in building a functioning state which might disrupt their flourishing trade?

Still after 3 years there is no concrete evidence that would make anyone think that the current ruling party is working for anyone else then for their own personal interests and private businesses. Reports published by International organizations and the European Union progress report, clearly shows that corruption leads up to the highest places of office, and that no real progress is evident. This does not make the newest country in the world look very serious about its attempt into entering the European Union.

Many believe that Kosovo needs the young pro-European Union generation that is booming behind the scenes of the “old” generation too take over. The “old” generation of politicians who might lack the essential education and diplomatic experience seems to be holding the country back from real evident progress, Kosovo is the only country that came out of the former Yugoslavia that still has not received any signs of a near green light in the visa liberalization process, it was the last country to declare its independence from Yugoslavia and still has after 12 years serious issues with it neighbor Serbia, but that cannot be held against them.

Maybe the new generation and the pro-EU mind-set of the new generation needs to take over in both of these countries or even the entire former Yugoslavia needs new leaders in order for this part of Europe to become a successful story many are hoping for.

What is the old generation contributing to making the process of EU integration easier? We have many prominent young and well educated professionals with high moral and integrity, which are ready to take over and help savior both countries bad tainted image that has been caused by scandal after scandal in the highest places of government. What the problem seems to be, one can only imagine but it is clear that these current governments do not have its people and countries best interest at heart, war as they knew it is over but a different kind of war is currently in full blown motion between them, both of these countries people are not gaining anything from holding old grudges alive in this millennium, they need to let the past be in the past and move towards a European future.

What the current generation is aware of is that Kosovo needs to establish good diplomatic relations with the European Union instead of looking too far over the Atlantic ocean, having a powerful friend is not unnecessary, but to establish close relations with Europe might be in the best interest of the country that has a high rate of young adults, that want to travel freely and be able to study and live abroad.

Kosovo talks with Serbia

Serbian officials have stated that they will push for a special status for the north of Mitrovica, Brussels and Washington says it is not on the table, and that they are not negotiations, but rather that this is a dialog, and also between to equal partners. Even though Serbia has yet to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Serbia has been preparing for these talks for over 2 years; in Kosovo there was no parliament to take that seriously. Kosovo also needs to define what it wants out of it and stick with it.

Both countries need to take something out of it, Kosovo needs to define what it wants first, but can we expect EU integration for both countries?

A new generation will be needed, not everything in the past was bad, but the new generation will help on having the country to move on, issue of war crime being up does not help the country to move on at all, with all due respect to former KLA leaders turned political key figures in Kosovo, but it might help the image of the country to let new people to come up, instead of these current politicians both from Serbia and Kosovo that are using their people and fuelling war between them, but when in private cooperating as friends and close business partners.

A young democracy needs time.

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