Prominent publicist from Kosovo, Dugagjin Gorani talks in an exclusive interview for IBNA about the consequences of the political crisis in Kosovo, the fate of the Army of Kosovo, the process of talks for the normalization of relations with Serbia and other challenges that await the new state in the future
Interviewed by Muhamer Mellova
IBNA: Can early elections produce a political crisis in Kosovo?
Gorani: Absolutely. Like anywhere else, the government can fall and parliament be dissolved. Today, this depends more on the coalition partners who are under great public and political pressure.
In this case, I consider the strong criticism on the early elections launched by ambassadors accredited in Pristina as unnecessary. I know what they fear, they fear that the agreements on the Special Tribunal, Association of Serb Communes, demarcation, etc, may not be implemented. But, such agreements cannot be protected by insisting on the government not to change. This would be a colonialist approach. Based on this logic, the government of Kosovo must not change in the next 50 years.
On the contrary, a way must be found for international agreements to be respected and governments not to change. This is how contemporary democracy requires it. Ways must be found in order for the next government to understand the importance of such agreements and engage in a political debate and not public appeals.
For many reasons, the agreements signed during the summer highly damaged the image of this government. In such situation, societies hold elections, because elections reestablish the legitimacy of the government. This must not be considered as a threat, but as a necessity of the moment.
IBNA: What will be the destiny of the Army of Kosovo?
Gorani: Kosovo will have its own army, but its acting sovereignty will be identical to the political sovereignty of the country. It will be restricted and dependant. This is valid for all armed forces that are NATO members or those which are formed under the supervision of the Alliance, such as the next Armed Forces of Kosovo.
Of course, the formal decision for the transformation of the Security Forces into Armed Forces, is a political act and it depends on many factors. The current political environment in the country is stirring and it doesn’t leave much room for such process. Armed Forces of Kosovo are supposed to guarantee security for all the citizens of Kosovo and they must not be presented as an ethnic army during political disputes. This force must have a comprehensive image and not a dividing one. It must also not be seen as a political achievement, as it happened during the 2014 election campaign, when the creation of the Armed Forces of Kosovo was presented as an achievement of PDK and its leader. I don’t think that this force can be similar to TMK or current FSK, which have traditionally been seen as instruments of parties that came from the ranks of former KLA. I believe that this is the main problem that is delaying the creation of the Armed Forces, besides the very small budget of the country. NATO, which has the main responsibility for this force, demands guarantees in order for it to meet the criteria of contemporary armies: comprehensive, protective, non-political.
IBNA: What will the talks between Kosovo and Serbia produce in the future?
Gorani: They will produce lots of government commitments and more agreements signed between Kosovo and Serbia. This is the main scope of the talks: to create lots of mutual obligations and then implement them throughout the years. Brussels and all others are hoping for the process of implementation to help for the process of normalization of relations between the two countries. They hope that this process will be crowned through the recognition of Kosovo by Serbia, but also with Kosovo’s acceptance of neighboring relations with Serbia. Of course, both countries will have an impact in the political and social developments of each other and must learn how to live with this. This is how countries within the EU function and this is how we must learn and function.
This will take a long time, given the primitive political mentalities in Serbia and Kosovo. Many years after the war, governments in Belgrade and Pristina are formed and fall based on nationalist absurdities and never as a result of poor governing. This makes me believe that the process of normalization between the two countries will last at least another decade.
IBNA: When will Kosovo be an economically developed country and a country which is integrated in Euro Atlantic structures?
Gorani: I believe that I answered this question. In the years to come, Kosovo will go through great political and social changes. Many governments will be changed and new political parties will be created, in order to manifest a different mentality on public responsibility, social accountability, etc. Ahead of us we have years of unrest, but also years filled with efforts. All of these will create a necessary experience for any contemporary society: with the passing of time, the tradition of state corruption will fade and accountability will grow. Our society will become more critical toward the government. Big issues such as the nation, sovereignty, independence, history will give way to demands for a better life, more efficient services and security. With the passing of time, these changes will offer a greater political stability, by setting up a functional justice system. This will qualify us for EU accession.
But this will not be easy and will not happen immediately. Currently, we are facing a full collapse of the state system because its foundations were based on ideological fairy tales. Several years and several other governments are needed, until we are on the right tracks of development. For this, there must be a bigger engagement by everyone. Gradually, we are all realizing that the state cannot be built without our participation. Otherwise it will continue to remain an instrument of gangs and clans who talk about the glorious history of a poor and isolated people.
Dugagjin Gorani (PhD), Liberal Democratic Center, Sociologist