The Draft Security Strategy of the Republic of Kosovo for 2022-2027, which was approved by the Parliamentary Committee for Security and Defense Affairs, on Wednesday, July 27, identifies as the main challenge for the security of the country "Serbia's territorial claim to Kosovo", says Enver Dugolli, first deputy chairman of this commission.

According to him, the danger from Serbia is explicitly mentioned for the first time in such a document.

The Draft-Strategy passed to the Commission with the votes of the five members present from the ruling Vetëvendosje Movement;

two of the opposition parties voted against, while one abstained.

It was drawn up by the Security Council of Kosovo and has already passed to the Assembly of Kosovo for processing.

Dugolli, deputy of the Vetëvendosje Movement, says that the Draft Security Strategy is a document that includes all aspects of security challenges in Kosovo.

"...especially of the dangers emanating from the neighboring country, Serbia.

In this strategy, the main danger that threatens the state is correctly identified.

In my opinion, this is a very real and well-studied point", says Dugolli.

To address the identified risks, which also include climate change, possible natural and human disasters, violent political or religious extremism, Dugolli says that separate strategies will be made by the relevant departments.

Qalaj: Strategy without institutional security memory

Rashit Qalaj, from the Democratic Party of Kosovo in the opposition, says that he voted against the Draft Security Strategy, since, according to him, this document "lacks vision".

Based on it, adds Qalaj, "it cannot be seen where Kosovo will be in five years" in terms of security.

He says that the partisan approach of the Vetëvendosje Movement is also noted in the document and not, according to him, the professional and impartial aspect to security.

"For example, when we talk about human security, they have included education, which in fact should not be part of the strategy...".

"Then, we have the approach that was made to the police institution.

For example, the Security Strategy mentions the creation of the reserve police or the change of the organizational structure of the police and, in my opinion, these have nothing to do with the security strategy", says Qalaj for Radio Free Europe.

Quni: The risk from migration has been left out of the strategy

Anton Quni, deputy of the Democratic League of Kosovo, also in the opposition, says that he voted against the approval of the Draft-Strategy due to the fact that it does not include the risk that, according to him, comes from the migration of Kosovo's citizens.

"I believe that the migration of young people is one of the dangers.

It should be considered.

It is impossible to preserve the vitality of the security institutions, to renew them, to ensure a continuity of their operation, while we have a problem with the recruitment of young people within the Kosovo Security Force, the police, agencies and services different", says Quni for Radio Free Europe.

According to a document published by the Governmental Migration Authority, for the period 2018-2020, 71,799 residents emigrated from Kosovo.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the period 2013-2017, on average, up to 35 thousand citizens of Kosovo emigrated per year.

Military service – electoral promise included in the strategy

The two opposition MPs, Qalaj and Quni, say that "electoral promises" of the Vetëvendosje Movement, such as the military obligation, have been included in the Draft Security Strategy.

They refer to the part of the Draft Strategy that talks about the Kosovo Security Force, and in which it is stated that "the KSF will constantly review its organizational structure, in order to adapt to the time and the tasks that arise as a function of the realization and protection of vital state interests".

"Also, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo will evaluate the feasibility of developing the most suitable models of the voluntary reserve as well as that of the mandatory military service, according to the contemporary practices of the Western countries, in accordance with the circumstances, conditions and local resources". the document says.

Dugolli says that the mandatory military service can be operationalized "without hindering the comprehensive transition plan of the KSF".

The Kosovo Security Force is in the process of being transformed into a full army as of 2018. This process is expected to take ten years.

It is expected that the KSF, during the transformation, will double the number of its forces and become a professional army of 5,000 troops.

Vrajolli: A good draft strategy

Mentor Vrajolli, executive director of the Kosovo Center for Security Studies, says that this center was consulted by the Government of Kosovo during the drafting of the initial versions of the Draft Security Strategy.

"Based on what we have seen, I can say that the draft was probably the most advanced of the strategies that were presented in the early stages by the Government.

Overall, it's not like we've had a lot of comments.

It is about a good draft of strategies, especially when compared with previous drafts or even with the previous National Security Strategy", says Vrajolli.

Relations with Serbia

In the years 1998-99, a war initiated by the then Serbian regime took place in Kosovo, which left over 13,000 civilians dead and thousands more missing.

Over 1,600 people are still missing - most of them Albanians.

Serbia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo and in the Constitution continues to consider it as part of its territory.

Kosovo and Serbia have been in talks for the normalization of relations since 2011, but the process is going slowly.

Despite dozens of agreements reached, their implementation on the ground leaves much to be desired.