In an exclusive interview for IBNA, professor of constitutional law, Fatos Rushiti talks about the new developments in Kosovo, normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, the functioning of the political system, political and constitutional crisis and Kosovo’s Euro Atlantic perspective.
IBNA: How do you assess the talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia?
Rushiti: The talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which have been imposed by the EU more than the respective states, have so far not produced the results expected by Kosovar society and political system in Kosovo. In Kosovo there was no unification of political groups and real support from civil society toward Thaci’s government in relation to eventual concessions made to Serbs of Kosovo and Serbia. Even those agreements that were reached so far have not been implemented. With the assistance of the international community, it’s necessary to come up with mechanisms which enable the full implementation of the agreements signed between Kosovar prime minister, Hashim Thaci and his Serb counterpart, Ivica Dacic.
IBNA: Is there democracy in the country and is the political system in Kosovo functioning like it should?
Rushiti: Democracy in Kosovo is only at the beginning, given that political leaders in Kosovo have not been able to offer the country so far the place that it deserves in the international arena, given that that in many reports of international organizations we still result to be a country for the transit of drugs and where corruption is punished very little. Institutional consolidation of Kosovo is still at the mercy of political parties, which are not providing them with the professional element, but exploiting them for personal or family related interests. The path toward democracy must be maintained and not damaged. Parties that came out of the war failed in this path and other parties of peace and radical parties will find it even more difficult. This due to the fact that Kosovo’s political spectrum has very few political figures who have not been affected by criminality and corruption and which would give another image to Kosovo.
IBNA: How do you assess the political and constitutional crisis in Kosovo?
Rushiti: Constitution of Kosovo is the main source of political crisis. A large number of its dispositions are unclear and ambiguous. It’s important to stress that judges of the Constitutional Court in Kosovo are not professional and depend on politics. This was seen on the recent ruling which denied to the opposition bloc the right to nominate the prime minister, although it was known that this post election coalition has the majority of seats in the parliament of Kosovo. Here we have a tendency for political monism, although we’re a parliamentary democracy. This is due to the fact that Kosovo is a hostage of the leadership of the first party that came out of the elections and which has an impact on other institutions, including the president and chief judge of the Constitutional Court.
IBNA: How is Kosovo moving forward in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration? Will accession in the EU and NATO be a long journey for the new state?
Rushiti: Kosovo has seen a lot of obstacles in the Euro-Atlantic process. This as a result of the lack of reforms in the legal system, public administration, economic reforms, etc.
I believe that the new government must open itself in the organizational and professional aspect, in order for Kosovo to move forward in the process of Euro integration and not limit to given groups of people who don’t have high managing and professional capacities to cope with the difficult tasks. Empty rhetoric in the talks with the European Commission is not sufficient. There must also be concrete engagement of all social communities in order to cooperate together for the best interest of the country.
Journey to the EU and NATO can be short only if we have an uncorrupted government leadership which considers politics as a way to serve to the interests of the country and not itself, as a product for the consumer and not a basket for their families, as a way for a better life and not unnecessary grudges against the progressive groups that may rise in society.
(Fatos Rushiti is a lecturer of constitutional law at ISPE College in Pristina)