Serbia’s investments in parallel structures in Kosovo

Radio Free Europe reports that every year the Serbian Government allocates millions of Euros to mainly Serb-inhabited municipalities, especially in the four northern municipalities.

According to its 2020 budget projections, Serbia has planned to invest €89 million in Kosovo. Around €63.7 million are destined for the Government’s Office for Kosovo.

The largest share of funds will be invested “in support of the functioning of institutions and organizations in the territory of Kosovo”. This mainly involves parallel structures or “the provisional bodies” of the Serbian state in Kosovo. The latter does not recognize these structures and according to agreements reached in Brussels between Prishtina and Belgrade, these structures should integrate in Kosovo’s institutions.

Economic experts and the government in Prishtina meanwhile argue that Serbia’s investments in the parallel structures are illegal.

Naim Gashi, an economy expert, told RFE that the funds are invested in mechanisms that undermine the state of Kosovo and obstruct the integration of the Kosovo Serb community. Such investments, he argued, are against the Brussels agreements and the European principles of good neighborly relations.

“Kosovo needs to stop these obstructions and legal violations … and the international community must put pressure on Serbia to stop these hostile activities toward Kosovo,” he added.

Haki Shatri, an economic advisor to Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, argued that Serbia’s investments in parallel structures in Kosovo are unacceptable and should not be allowed.