International and Security Affairs Centre
REFRAMING AHTISAARI PROVISIONS: THE ISSUE OF CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE AND FINAL POST CONFLICT SETTLEMENT BETWEEN BELGRADE AND PRISTINA
The paper identifies protection mechanisms for the Serbian religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo defined by the Ahtisaari Plan as the basic normative framework and analyses its application. The authors start with the claim that the status of cultural and religious heritage was unjustifiably omitted from the Brussels dialogue and that this topic, due to identity-related sensitivity, can determine the citizens’ side when supporting a possible final agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. In the first part, the analysis provides a comprehensive overview of legal guarantees and experience in their implementation, deals in detail with examples of abuse and non-compliance with the adopted normative framework, criticism of the “special” status for Serbian heritage, and open disputes between the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and Kosovo authorities. In the second part, the text provides a comparative overview of the special statuses holy places in Europe. Since extraterritorial status as the final model for Serbian religious and cultural heritage is often mentioned in public in Serbia, the paper tried to offer several models of territorial solutions for smaller units, in the form of enclaves, extraterritoriality, and condominiums, that could be potentially applied in the case of the Serb cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo.