The National Assembly’s standing delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, headed by Stefana Miladinovic and comprising Dusica Stojkovic, Branimir Jovanovic and Vesna Markovic, took part in the OSCE PA annual Winter Meeting, on 21-22 February, in Vienna.
Day one started with a meeting of the Standing Committee, attended by Stefana Miladinovic as head of the delegation, and focused on the Report of Secretary General Roberto Montella and the Report of the Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on the Rules of Procedure Lord Peter Bowness.
The joint session of the three general committees was addressed by the host, President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, OSCE PA President George Tsereteli and Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak. The joint session focused on the reports of the OSCE PA special representatives and the reports of two ad hoc committees - Committee on Migration and Committee on Countering Terrorism.
In the general debate following the presentation, the Head of the Serbian Assembly delegation Stefana Miladinovic spoke about the Report of the Special Representative on South East Europe Mark Pritchard, saying that his work has been objective and unbiased.
Speaking about the conclusion of the Report declaring the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue vital for stability in South East Europe, Stefana Miladinovic said that the dialogue has been blocked by the so-called state of Kosovo’s decision to impose a 100% customs tax on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina which is contrary to the CEFTA.
“This is one in a series of unreasonable decisions by Pristina levelled against the talks and the Serb community in Kosovo-Metohija”, said Miladinovic, reminding the attending that the decision has been denounced by almost the entire international community, as evidenced by the most recent session of the UNSC dedicated to the situation in Kosovo-Metohija.
“The Republic of Serbia still believes that problems should be resolved through dialogue, in accordance with international law, and we expect the international community to, within its capacities, help make sure these taxes are revoked”, said Stefana Miladinovic, stressing that, keeping the OSCE neutral status, the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue deserves the attention of all the OSCE structures.
In the discussion, Dusica Stojkovic said that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue has been halted and Belgrade is investing enormous efforts to reach a compromise. The customs taxes, she said, are aimed directly against the continuation of the dialogue. “Any agreement Serbs and Albanians might come to would contribute to a lasting peace in the Western Balkans”, Stojkovic concluded.
MPs Stefana Miladinovic and Dusica Stojkovic once again reminded their colleagues more than five years since the signing of the Brussels Agreement, Pristina has still not fulfilled its obligations, including the most important among them - establishment of a Community of Serb Municipalities.
At the meeting of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian, Branimir Jovanovic spoke about the right to access information denied to the Serb community in Kosovo-Metohija by the 100% customs tax on goods from Serbia which prevents them from reading Serbian press. Responding to MP Branimir Jovanovic, OSCE Representative Harlem Désir said that the problem will be addressed during the planned visit to Pristina.
MP Vesna Markovic took part in the meeting of the General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment. The meeting focused on good governance and combating corruption, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.