Bearing in mind the role and importance of the normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade in the process of joining the European Union, the Forum for Ethnic Relations organized a lecture on the topic of EU integrations and the process of normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The lecturers were Mrs. Vlora Citaku and Dr. Dušan Janjić who discussed some of the most important socio-political aspects of the mentioned processes based on their professional and personal experiences. The lecture was intended to initiate a discussion on the Brussels agreement, European integrations, regional stability, and to demonstrate clear commitment to further co-operation and talks between Belgrade and Pristina.
According to Mrs. Vlora Citaku, the process of normalization is very complicated and requires patience and investment, but at the same time it very important and necessary. The implementation of negotiations is crucial to success, and primarily involves transparency in relations, openness to citizens, and mutual support to Belgrade and Pristina on the road to the European Union. In addition, it is very important to address specific issues that citizens face every day, such as unemployment, area code number, document receipt, and so on. It is of great importance, according to Mrs. Citaku, to establish the principle of equality and to put away ethnic, religious and other intolerance that exists in our societies. Still, she is an optimist and believes that progress in relations is more than satisfactory, and the openness of the European Union to Belgrade and Pristina is becoming clearer.
Dr. Dušan Janjić emphasized that now, guided by our own experience, it is the moment to turn all our mistakes from the past and exploit them for the benefit of the society we live in. We do not need to focus on the differences that exist between us, but to find similarities and to build our identities together in the process of EU integrations. Dušan Janjić added that the challenge is not the agreement itself, but its implementation, where success will mostly manifest itself in two ways – regional cooperation and local elections. Although the European Union is the goal which is pursued, it should not be forgotten that the country’s stability and prosperity needs developed regional economic cooperation. On the other hand, elections show the readiness of citizens to join the society and participate in the election of their representatives who will, through the implementation of policies, contribute to a better life for the citizens and strengthen their position in Kosovo.
At the end of the lecture, other participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and give comments. They discussed the role of the media, the conditions for joining the European Union, but also the gender roles in politics, the role of non-governmental organizations in society, and so on. Representatives of the civil sector, international organizations, ambassadors, as well as a large number of media from the region attended the lecture.
The Forum for Ethnic Relations feels that the high attendance points to a clear need for even better cooperation and dialogue between the representatives of Belgrade and Pristina at different levels – social, political, educational, and cultural.