Draft Feedback Form
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First phase Public debates on the drafting process of the Kosovo Constitution Date and venue: Drenas ( 5 February, 2008) / Municipal Assembly Panel members: Fatmir Fehmiu, Kadri Kryeziu Introductory remarks of the panel members: (brief summary of the discussion) Fatmir Fehmiu: (Member of the Constitutional Commission) The Constitutional Commission composed of members from all national and ethnic communities, political parties, civil society, local experts, assisted by international experts, in compliance with methodological principles of science on drafting legal acts in general and constitutional particularly, with contemporary principles that democracy is set up with citizens and nation, has drafted the working plan and has foreseen citizens participation through the drafting process of primary document – the Constitution. The working plan includes ideas and concepts, articulation of the ideas from the positive spectrum. We make this public debate in order to improve and better articulate this important document, to include opinions collected during the public debates and incorporate them into the document of Constitution. The idea of drafting of the Constitution of Kosovo has been known for a long time. However, the process of accomplishment is characterized with long and specific journey dictated by current international and national circumstances. Hence, for accomplishment of this idea it was required to establish Strategic-Political Group, Unity Team and the Negotiation Team, than also establish working groups, respectively the Constitutional Commission for drafting the necessary documents. Concrete articulation of the idea has begun by professional groups assisted from foreign experts as of January 2007. The project is at the final phase and it includes: preamble, basic principles, human rights and freedoms, rights of the communities, institutions of Kosovo, Assembly, the President, the Government, judicial and prosecutorial system, Constitutional Court, economic relations, local self- governance, territorial organization, independent agencies, such as: Ombudsperson Institution, General Audit, Central Election Commission, Central Bank, Independent Media Commission and other independent agencies. In order to ensure an open and democratic Constitution drafting process, the Constitutional Commission has included in the work plan the preparation of citizens to contribute with their participation during the discussion. Therefore, today’s debate aims to lay the path for integration of all citizens regardless of political affiliation, nationality, religion in the democratic process of drafting the Kosovo Constitution. Kadri Kryeziu: One year ago the President of Kosovo has appointed members of the Constitutional Commission. This Commission is composed of eminent experts from all political parties, civil society, international experts with long experience in constitution drafting, especially the constitutions of southeast European countries. In drafting of the Constitution of Kosovo three main elements have been taken into account: expression of the free will of people, incorporation of some of the elements from the Ahtisaari package, and the rights and fundamental freedoms of minorities. With regard to separation of state powers, we have proposed that Kosovo has a parliamentary form of government with a stronger President; some of the authorities that the President did not have in the past were now added; the executive system where it has been determined that there shall be some ministers from the Minority communities as well, and separation of the judicial system, where the prosecutor’s office shall be within the Ministry of Justice, with some other elements, such as prisons, etc. In the Constitution we have determined that Parliament is the highest decision maker with regard to appointment of the highest institutions. 2/3 of the members of the Parliament need to vote in favor of adopting the Constitution for it to be considered adopted; after adoption by Parliament it shall be approved by the International Civilian Representative, who will soon start his work in Kosovo. In one word I can say that it is a good Constitution and it contains some important elements offering citizens European standards. The main thing is that this constitution will express the will of the majority citizens of Kosovo. Citizens’ questions and comments A citizen: It would have been nice to include in the preamble the aspiration for national unification, regardless the fact that this is not in compliance with Ahtisaari plan. This would have been nice since this is the will and aspiration of people of Kosovo through centuries. On the other hand I don’t think it is good idea to mix issues, it would definitely be good if Kosovo is determined as a Parliamentarian Republic, without Presidential system. Kadri Kryeziu: With regard to the preamble, it is rather a part describing the history and background of a nation than anything else, it is not a normative part and as such it cannot describe the unification or division of a nation. The preamble is not a normative or obligatory part. Preamble is more a historical part describing the efforts and troubles of a nation. There are constitutions in the world that don’t have a preamble at all, however we will have one. It will be a preamble of the future and not the past. Fatmir Fehmiu: Many constitutions in the world do not have preamble. In the theory of the constitutional right the preamble is an introduction which can reflect the situation about how it came to the text of the Constitution. A citizen: I’m interested to know from the members of the Constitutional Commission, how did they determine the issue of functioning of the armed forces in Kosovo? What does Constitution provide for the presence of international forces in Kosovo? Kadri Kryeziu: With regard to the security sector, Kosovo will have Kosovo Security Forces after it become a state. It will have 2500 active and 800 reserve soldiers. Security forces will not have heavy weapons; there will not be tanks; however in the Constitution we left the space for positive changes in the future. Kosovo will integrate NATO alliance, not only as an army but also as a state. Kosovo will be protected by the military forces of NATO and out of its own forces, as a constitutive part of NATO. In this contest we have also foreseen Kosovo Police, Intelligence Service (this service will have several segments of Intelligence). We have the supervision of the civil aviation and extraordinary measures. A citizen: It is good to regulate the issue of official languages. On the other hand it makes no sense to draft the Constitution and not to know what the flag will look like, what will be the emblem and the anthem, when there are national holidays and where will be the capital of Kosovo? Kadri Kryeziu: Official languages will be Albanian and Serb, in areas where respective other minorities make up 10% also Turkish, Bosnian and Roma languages. The capital of Kosovo will be Pristina, the emblem is being developed, however it is not ready yet. The national flag will remain and will be used wherever and whenever we like. There will also be a state flag; there has been an international competition for this; this flag will have to respect for basic conditions that have been set, i.e. not to contain any elements of any of the nationalities more or less. This flag belongs to all and nobody at the same time, in a sense that this flag will be placed in the institutions during state holidays; besides it we will also have a national Albanian flag. A citizen: Is there any law planned to be adopted with regard to providing some specific rights to the former KLA members, war veterans and families of martyrs? Kadri Kryeziu: There will be a law of this kind and they will be protected, because thanks to their work and commitment we are here now. This will be regulated by a special law. A citizen: Does this Constitution guarantee territorial unity of Kosovo? I say this with a reference to the unresolved issues between Macedonia and Kosovo. As you know there is a dispute over some piece of territory; will this be resolved by the Constitution or between two governments? Kadri Kryeziu: With regard to the border with Macedonia, both governments will discuss and find the solution; this has been also foreseen in the Ahtisaari package; it will be regulated once Kosovo becomes a state. We don’t have only the problem of Kumanovo; we have also issues with Montenegro. Groups of experts will find solutions to this; this is not only a political problem. A citizen: How will the territory of Kosovo be protected according to the new Constitution? Kadri Kryeziu: The territory will be protected by NATO and other forces. We are making a new Constitution, from the beginning. According to this Constitution, the republic of Kosovo is a unitary and indivisible state. The Constitution guarantees the territoriality of Kosovo. A citizen: What does the Constitution provide for when it comes to religion, since we see now some sects that did not exist in the past? Kadri Kryeziu: According to the Constitution, Kosovo doesn’t have an official religion; this is in line with Ahtisaari package as well. Everyone has a right to religion. A citizen: What will be the position of KPC in the future? Kadri Kryeziu: KPC will become the Kosovo Security Force, it is a positive transformation and this Security Force will be the Army of Kosovo. The Kosovo Army will incorporate in NATO. Kosovo President will be Commander in Chief of the Security Forces. We will also have Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of External Affairs.