BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Thursday that Pristina should give sufficient time for the implementation of a rule under which ethnic Serbs living in northern Kosovo to switch over their car license plates to local ones within two months.
“It is important that sufficient time is given for the implementation of this plan, and that it is prepared and executed in close consultation with the affected citizens, and in line with good European practices,” a European Commission spokesperson said.
“The Freedom of Movement conclusions from 2016 included much longer timelines for re-registration, which should provide guidance for the process at hand now.”
Kosovo, which is predominantly ethnic Albanian, has sought to compel Serbs to accept Pristina’s authority in routine bureaucratic matters since winning independence in 2008 after nearly a decade-long uprising against Serbia’s repressive rule.
Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s independence and Serbs in northern Kosovo consider Belgrade as their capital.
The spokesperson said the EU urged “both parties to use the EU-facilitated Dialogue as the platform to address and resolve all open issues between them … including related to license plates.”
(Reporting by John Chalmers, editing by Marine Strauss)