Status: 24.11.2022 00:24
The dispute over the use of Serbian license plates in Kosovo had recently caused tension and violence. Both sides have now agreed on a solution to the conflict, mediated by the EU.
Kosovo and Serbia have reached a compromise in the dispute over the use of Serbian license plates. “We have an agreement,” wrote EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Twitter in the evening after a round of negotiations between the two sides in Brussels organized by the EU.
The chief negotiators of Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on measures to avoid further escalation. According to Borrell, Serbia will stop issuing license plates with reference to Kosovar cities. Conversely, Kosovo will not take any further measures in connection with the re-registration of vehicles with old Serbian license plates. Borrell called on both sides to discuss further steps in the next few days.
Tensions had recently increased
The Serbs living in Kosovo do not recognize the state institutions there. Almost all ethnic Serbs in a compact Serb settlement area in northern Kosovo use Serbian-issued license plates from when the region was still part of Serbia. These are now invalid and the Kosovo government insisted on changing the license plates in question. At the beginning of the month, almost all of the Kosovan police officers of Serbian origin resigned from the service in protest against the regulation.
Serbs who oppose the required license plate change are supported by the Serbian government, which does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, which was declared in 2008. On the other hand, 115 countries worldwide, including most EU countries, recognize Kosovo as an independent state.