Decentralisation process begins in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Kosovo — A group of cabinet ministries decided on Wednesday (March 18th) to start Kosovo’s decentralisation process. Serb-dominated municipalities will be established in Mitrovica — North, Gracanica, Ranillug, Partesh, Kllokot/Verboc and Novoberde.

Six teams will work to secure resources, properties and administrative structures for each. After the next local elections, which are scheduled for November, all functions and executive duties will shift to the elected municipal governments, as outlined in former UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari’s blueprint for Kosovo.

Minister of Local Governance Sadri Ferati described the decentralisation as “an excellent opportunity to assume rights, full integration and establishment of a multi-ethnic Kosovo”.

In other news on Wednesday, NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General John McColl, said the Alliance would work to ensure more funding for development of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF). His comment followed a meeting with KSF Minister Fehmi Mujota and KSF Commander Sylejman Selimi in Pristina.

Separately on Wednesday, Hubert Pirker, a European Parliament and Austrian Populist Party member, said it would be possible to pull all international peacekeepers out of Kosovo in five years. The process to reduce KFOR’s presence by half is expected to begin next year.

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