Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Was Kurti’s visit on Friday to Tetovo and Çair ill-conceived? Undoubtedly yes. The Albanian opposition parties here probably won a unifier, LVV probably reinforced the illusion of dominance in the Albanian geography, but Kosovo was badly and undeservedly represented.   

Author: Xhelal Neziri

It is not the first time that Albin Kurti comes to North Macedonia. But it is the first time that he comes as Prime Minister of Kosovo with the agenda of the leader of Vetëvendosje. That is why it evoked harsh reactions from liberal and, of course, nationalist circles. The folkloric-provocative flag “Authoctonus”, the bypassing of state institutions, the clandestine renaming of a street named after Adem Demaçi, selective meetings with Albanian leaders and non-respect of the standard protocols of a prime minister… – these were the moments that provoked these reactions. But the harshest reactions should have happened in Kosovo. Since his election as Prime Minister of Kosovo, Kurti can no longer act as the head of Vetëvendosje. He cannot be prime minister in the morning and party leader in the afternoon. As prime minister, he does not represent only the supporters of Vetëvendosje, but all the citizens of Kosovo. Even more so in visits abroad or in dialogue with other countries

In fact, the partisanship of institutions is a problem in every state of the region. The minister is the minister only of the party or parties in power, and not of all citizens. The prime minister also. It is not possible to make the separation between the party and the state, which is a legacy in our communist subconscious.

Since the appearance of LVV on the public and then political scene of Kosovo, this subject has always had supporters and militants even outside the borders of the state where it was registered. Kurti has often been seen holding meetings and protests in regions inhabited by Albanians in North Macedonia, or supporting political movements in Albania. He has supported and even participated in the ethnic Albanian protests organized in North Macedonia before 2016, from which two new parties were born – BESA and the Alliance for Albanians (ASH). LVV also supported the joint candidate of these parties for the president of North Macedonia, Blerim Reka, who was then appointed minister of European integration of Kosovo and recently consul in the USA. In 2020, participating directly in the pre-election campaign, LVV supported another coalition – the one created between ASH and Alternativa. These Albanian parties have also supported Kurti in the elections in Kosovo – either through the media, or directly by organizing voters from North Macedonia with Kosovar citizenship.

However, these inter-party relations between Kurti and the Albanian parties in North Macedonia have never been a problem. Such collaborations are known even earlier, between PDK and AAk with DUI and PDSH. The problem is the interference in the policies of another state by functionaries, using cultural or political proximity. This, among others, is regulated by the UN Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States, where point 1 states: “No state or group of states has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason in the internal and external affairs of other states”. This is the basis on which international relations were developed after World War II, when the current rules-based world order was established.

It was also legitimate for LVV to form a party with the same ideology as in Kosovo. Cases of transnational parties are well-known in the world, and especially in Europe, but based on ideological proximity, not ethnic proximity. Ethnicity and religion in modern states are in the sphere of people’s private lives. Institutional life knows only state-citizen relations (tax-paying citizen) and laws that must guarantee and protect all rights and features.

Transnational parties are political entities that have members and compete in parliamentary elections in more than one country. The party “Lista per Tsipras” (List of Tsipras) in the last elections in Italy won two deputies, while it was founded with the support of the Greek party SYRIZA of the former prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras. Four of Ireland’s parties – the Green Party, Sinn Féin, People Before Profit and the Labor Party – are parties that also compete for the Parliament of Northern Ireland, as a state that is part of the United Kingdom. At the level of the European Union (EU) Parliament elections, there are a total of 11 European political parties organized on the basis of the values ​​they represent and which originate from the ideological profiling of political groups in the 28 member countries of the Union. The loud echo of the turnout in the last EU parliamentary elections has encouraged even more the formation of transnational parties.

During the rapprochement with the Albanian parties in North Macedonia, LVV and Kurti did not promote ideological values. This cooperation and coordination has been developed based exclusively on ethnic specifics. Therefore, it is expected that there will be regional and international reactions due to the bitter experiences that ethnic projects have brought in the history of the Balkans. Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic instigated wars that claimed thousands of lives with the goal of extending Serbia’s borders to every corner where Serbs live. Current President Aleksandar Vučić has the “Serbian World”, which means meddling in the internal politics of neighboring countries through political installations in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. As Vladimir Putin has the concept of “Russian World” – all Russians in one state.

In relations between modern states, visits can be official, business visits, government invitation visits or private visits. Kurti said that he came on a state visit, but in the protocols of democratic states, state visits are carried out after an invitation from the government or after the initiative of the authority of the other state. The government of Skopje, as the host of the Kurt level, said that it had very little information about this visit. The invitation from the municipalities he visited would only be normal if Kurti was mayor. Or invitations from sister parties would be normal only if he was not the prime minister.

Was Kurti’s visit on Friday to Tetovo and Çair ill-conceived? Undoubtedly yes. The Albanian opposition parties here probably gained a unifier, LVV probably reinforced the illusion of dominance in the Albanian geography, but Kosovo was poorly and undeservedly represented.

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