- MEPs are following closely the ongoing investigation into the attack on Banjska/Banjskë
- Call on Serbia to withdraw all the military forward bases located near the Kosovo border
- Serbia and Kosovo must actively work towards dialogue-led peaceful dispute resolution
- Call to denounce all forms of violence and acts of provocation
MEPs say the Serbian Government is pursuing a very dangerous policy with regard to Kosovo and its Western partners, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.
The text, adopted by show of hands, condemns in the strongest possible terms “the hideous and cowardly terrorist attack on Kosovan police officers by well-organised Serbian paramilitaries” in Banjska/Banjskë on 24 September 2023, and urges all sides to de-escalate the situation in northern Kosovo.
MEPs are closely following the ongoing investigations by the Kosovan authorities and urge Serbia to fully cooperate and to bring those responsible for the attack who are currently residing in Serbia to justice, including facilitating their extradition to Kosovo.
Dangerous policy of Serbia with regard to Kosovo and its Western partners
Aggressive military behaviour, together with radicalised political messaging in Serbia and strong indications of the Serbian state’s involvement in the recent political violence in the north of Kosovo, indicates that the Serbian government is pursuing a very dangerous but coherent policy with regard to Kosovo and its Western partners.) MEPs are also concerned by evidence linking violent criminal groups in the north of Kosovo and in Serbia with the Serbian state.
If the investigation finds direct Serbian state involvement in the 24 September attacks, the Commission should freeze the funding provided to Serbia under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance III, MEPs say. They also call on the Council to adopt targeted restrictive measures, including but not limited to asset freezes and travel bans, against destabilising actors in the north of Kosovo and the leaders of major organised crime networks.
Work towards a peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue
Parliament calls on Serbia and Kosovo to denounce all forms of violence and acts of provocation, urging them to halt any actions that may further escalate tensions and to actively work towards a peaceful resolution of disputes through EU-facilitated dialogue .
The Commission should, MEPs say, act as an honest broker in the normalisation process and avoid appeasement towards Serbia, and they demand the Council lift the negative measures it has taken against Kosovo and to resume their high-level contacts with its President and the Kosovo government. The resolution calls on the Commission to draw up and present a transparent and ambitious roadmap for Kosovo’s path to integration by the end of 2023.