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INFO   :::  Region > Kosovo - PAGE 1 > Declaration By the participants of Serbia-Kosovo civil society dialogue


Declaration by the Participants of Serbia-Kosovo Civil Society Dialogue

Belgrade, May 18, 2011

Serbia-Kosovo relations are moving towards mutual recognition of realistic needs. This is evident in the startup of the official dialogue that would have hardly been possible was there not for the uninterrupted cooperation of civil society activists. The cooperation at the level of civil society has contributed to certain relaxation in the relations, but also to the cornerstones for what awaits us in the period to come.

In the context of these changes, our experience shows that dialogue is the only way to open up prospects for both societies in the region anyway challenged by huge transitional difficulties and the processes of state consolidation.

The more so are we, civil society representatives from Serbia and Kosovo, convinced that our common aspirations towards European integration can be attained only if we demonstrate understanding and respect for mutual interests and needs.

These aspirations also necessitate that we seriously consider and better adjust our duties and responsibilities to the spirits of times and citizens' expectations.

We, representatives of this part of civil society, wish to encourage the search for solutions to many open problems of the interest to both parties. The need for bilateral relations in all areas - from freedom of movement to economy and culture - by far exceeds formal and real obstacles. For, every delayed solution to citizens' everyday, real-life problems puts off our mutual, European agenda too.

True membership of the family of European nations calls for a change in the decade-long mentalities and fundamental Europeanization of societies from which no one should stay aside.

We are faced with complex problems and citizens' high expectations for a different reality. And this different reality calls for a change in social climate and value systems. Serbia can lift the burden of the past from its shoulder only through sincere development of neighborly relations. This implies making a breakthrough in the acceptance of the new reality in Kosovo - independence.

Bearing in mind the significant role of civil dialogue in all post-conflict societies and the common course whereby this part of civil society can contribute to further normalization of bilateral relations, we appeal to governments of Serbia and Kosovo, as well as to the international community to provide support to our activities and endeavors.



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