The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted in Strasbourg Tuesday a resolution on Kosovo.
The document outlined a neutral stand on Kosovo’s status, but also pointed to a need for greater engagement by the Council of Europe (CoE) in resolving the problems regarding the rule of law, democracy and respect of human and minority rights, said reports.
The resolution, based on a report by CoE rapporteur for Kosovo Bjorn von Sydow, points out that the CoE is applying a status-neutral policy towards Kosovo and recognizes the validity of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, although 33 members of that European organization have already acknowledged the unilateral independence declaration.
According to PACE, the CoE needs to establish working contacts with the Kosovo authorities in order to strengthen its role in the province, while remaining status-neutral.
PACE invites political parties to start a dialogue with representatives of the Kosovo parliament on matters of mutual interest, taking into account Serbia’s legitimate interest and opinion, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the resolution reads.
The recommendations that PACE adopted point out that, although divided on the issue of Kosovo status, the CoE members should be united in supporting that organization’s greater involvement in Kosovo, for the benefit of all citizens who live there.
Taking into account the situation analyzed in Sydow’s report, PACE also calls upon EULEX, UNMIK, Kosovo and Serbia to take specific steps to eliminate the problems which the citizens of Kosovo are facing.
The resolution also urges the authorities in Priština and Belgrade to adopt a flexible approach to regional cooperation in order to facilitate the participation of their representatives at international meetings, regardless of the status issue, and to be active in promoting dialogue and reconciliation among communities in Kosovo.
According to the resolution, officials from Serbia and Kosovo should take a pragmatic approach and attempt to solve practical problems which the Serbs and other minority communities in Kosovo are exposed to, such as the energy supply and issuing personal documents.
Belgrade and Priština are also invited to facilitate the recognition of property rights and restitution of property, to continue to cooperate in resolving the issue of missing persons and to ensure full cooperation with EULEX and the Hague Tribunal in the investigation of war crimes.