Promotion of civil society in the forefront of our activities in Kosovo
Four projects to promote civic participation and bring the voice of civil society to the authorities in Mitrovica and Pristina kicked off in Kosovo.
Under the call for proposal launched in June within the Slovak - Balkan Public Policy Fund in Northern Kosovo, a number of interesting projects had been proposed. The evaluation commission selected four most promising ones. Kicking off in august – mostly for the period of 9 months, the projects are focused on researching concrete policies implemented (or lacking) in Northern Kosovo, providing policy analysis and recommendations, and conduct advocacy activities in order to promote the results of the research.
Besides research, the grantees will have a chance to participate at the summer school on public policy and advocacy, and study visits to Bratislava and Brussels. Their activities will be consulted by Slovak mentors.
These are the four supported projects:
Youth educational club Synergy - Economic status of youth of North Kosovo
The project of policy analysis and recommendations has a goal of examining the existing programs meant for employing youth in North Kosovo region, determining challenges and positive examples. The project will collect and analyze data and define examples of good practice, which will be then presented to the relevant stakeholders with the purpose of impacting design of future employment programs. Activities of the project are the following: survey and analysis of youth employment programs which have been implemented in the municipalities of North Mitrovica and Zvecan, stakeholder (institutions) discussions on the topic of the “Economic status of youth in Kosovo”, presentation of the analytic report with recommendations to relevant institutions and organizations in North Kosovo and Pristina.
The expected results of the project are mainly: raising awareness of relevant institutions on the need for adapting programs of employment to the needs and capacities of unemployed young people, as well as with the conditions in which the programs are being conducted, and advocate for the concrete recommendations stemming from the analysis.
Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER) - Support to local economic development in the North Kosovo
The project targets strengthening the capacity of local self-governments in the North Kosovo municipalities to absorb the various available fund, in order to ensure sustainable socio-economic development. For expenditure of resources and implementation of development projects to be more transparent and in line with the strategic documents of the municipalities, it is important to involve non-public actors in local development. Main activities: Through means of research, analysis of the existing investment programmes, the possibilities and best practices/challenges of CSO involvement in the decision making will be identified, as well as the most effective means/examples of funds implementation. Mayors, heads of departments and municipal officials who work on the development will be introduced with the results of conducted research related to the investments in North Kosovo and will have opportunity to determine necessary actions in order to increase their capacities and be more efficient in realization of development projects. As a result of the project, citizens in four northern municipalities will be more familiar with currently available financial resources and local authorities’ capacities for implementation of development projects, while the local authorities will be aware of the recommendations of the civil society for more effective programmes implementation, and CSOs capacity to assist in consulting and implementing the development programmes.
Platform for Analysis and Research - Giving Voice to North Kosovo: CSOs’ Shadow Progress Report
Kosovo’s Serb community has been reluctant to get involved into political life of Kosovo, due to the recent history of ethnic conflict and the consequent statehood issue. This is why political and legislative processes leave Kosovo Serb community at the margins of key political and integration processes. However, with the signing of the First Agreement on Principles of Normalization of Relations back in 2013, the conditions were made to alter this situation. However, the Serb community continues both excluded and self-excluded from the processes, such as euro-integration of Kosovo. The project aims to produce a well-researched overview as basis for further specific initiatives and actions related to involvement of Serb community into decision making processes related to euro -integration, and to provide a comprehensive source of information to be included in the preparation process of the European Commission Progress Report 2017 (ECPR). The project will endeavour to bring together previous findings and to produce a systematic evaluation of the current dynamics into one easily accessible CSO shadow progress report. This shall also be used as a common reference by CSOs, institutional actors and international organizations.
Individual Researchers: Branislav Nesovic, Jovana Radosavljevic - Adherence of EULEX to the principles of local ownership in the process of implementation of its mission and objectives in north Kosovo post 2013
The EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), has been dispatched to help Kosovo’s rule of law, particularly in the areas of policing, customs, judiciary, human rights and war crimes. According to its programmatic objectives it is based on a rigorous adherence to the principle of “local ownership”. In spite of this, the mandate of the mission was designed by the EU without local involvement. Since its inception in 2008, it has been met with critiques, particularly in the north, with resistance and contestation, due to which EULEX was not able to dispatch fully into the Kosovo north. The EU-facilitated Brussels Agreement of 2013 between Belgrade and Pristina, has also opened the north for EULEX influence. It remains to be seen how much EULEX will involve local stakeholders/community in the implementation of its action in the areas of policing, judiciary, customs and implementation of Brussels agreement provisions. The next two years will shape the rule of law functioning in Kosovo and particularly in the north for the time to come. For that reason, a larger involvement of local community in the implementation of mission objectives would be crucial for its success.
The objective of this project is to include views of the local community on the establishment of the rule of law in the Kosovo north and develop policy recommendations for EULEX, the international community and local institutions, based on a sound input from local stakeholders, through research, policy brief with policy recommendations, advocacy initiatives and rising public awareness
This activity is implemented by the PONTIS Foundation and the NGO AKTIV and funded by the SlovakAid, under the project: Active Civil Society: Slovak - Balkan Public Policy Fund in Northern Kosovo.