After the elections in February 2021, the Kosovo prime minister expressed his views on possible dialogue with Belgrade. He claimed that normalization dialogue with Serbia is not the country´s top priority. Also, he added that „to [reach a] compromise, the dialogue on the normalization of relations with Serbia can be number three or four in the order of priority. I want to engage in developing a social dialogue with Serbs in Kosovo. The beneficiaries of the dialogue should be citizens and not politicians who are looking at how to sell the outcome to the public opinion“ (Ozturk, 2021). This announcement came as no surprise, as Kurti had not considered the dialogue a top priority even during his campaign. He was more focused on well being of citizens, justice and economic topics.
However, later, in March 2021, Kurti declared requirements that the EU-led dialogue with Serbia should follow. We expect there will be certain conditions to continue the conversation. Based on Albin Kurti´s expressions, Kosovo may demand some significant steps to hold the discussion again.
Firstly, Kurti will require acceptance of Kosovo independence by Serbia. He claims that independent Kosovo has been a reality for more than 13 years, and Serbia must accept this fact. It is possible that without a meeting of this point, Kurti will not be willing to sit behind one table. However, that might be a difficult aim to achieve, as nearly 72% of Serbs do not agree with the recognition of Kosovo, and president Vučič is known for his consideration of public opinion (Hartwell, 2021).
Secondly, Serbia will be asked to acknowledge crimes perpetrated by its army and paramilitary units in Kosovo during the 1990s. Kurti will expect Belgrade to distance the war crimes openly, as they remain a sensitive topic in Kosovo. Kurti has claimed that both countries must not forget history. Thus, he will seek Belgrade´s position on this (Prishtina Insight, 2021).
Thirdly, Kurti will probably ask to guarantee that Kosovo and Serbia will be equal behind the negotiation table. Even in the past, Kosovo officials considered themselves as less similar than Serbian counterparts in the negotiations. According to Kurti, previous negotiations talked about Kosovo as a subject of negotiation and not as its part. Kurti will be seeking assurances of equal position for Kosovo before the talks.
Lastly, Kurti will demand that Kosovo-Serbia negotiations must be focused on the citizens´ benefits. He criticized his predecessors for taking negotiations as a way to increase political popularity. Kurti requires negotiations to be held for the favour of citizens, not politicians. Kurti will probably exact that all the agreements made during the negotiations must be profoundly beneficial for the citizens of Kosovo (Prishtina Insight, 2021).