Region: Kosovo

Women in the media: report launch in Kosovo and Serbia

women in the media launch

PCi launches a new study looking at the status of women in the media in Kosovo and Serbia.

PCi’s latest report, Women in media, examines the position of women in the media and gender inequality in the newsroom in Serbia and Kosovo. The study presents results from a consultation with close to a thousand media professionals in both Kosovo and Serbia as part of PCi’s Western Balkans project ‘Amplifying local voices for equitable development’ (ALVED). The report also sets out recommendations on how the findings from the study can be addressed.

The launch event, which took place on 2 March simultaneously in Pristina and Belgrade, was attended by a number of local media and civil society organisations, as well as representatives from the Serbian office of the ‘Commissioner for equality’ and the British embassy. We heard from the lead researchers of the study Dafina Halili (Kosovo) and Tamara Skrozza (Serbia), who presented the key findings of the study. We also had the pleasure to welcome activist Valmira Rashiti  (Kosovo Women’s Network), Zorana Antonijević (gender expert and activist) and Ms. Majlindë Sinani Lulaj (Deputy Ombudsperson) to the event panel.

Some alarming figures on the status of women in the media in Kosovo and Serbia are highlighted in this study. Notably, one in three women working in Serbian media and one in four in Kosovo media have been victims of sexual harassment. Another stark figure, close to 30% of women working in Kosovar and Serbian media have been discriminated due to their age or appearance. Additionally, seven out of ten women are considering changing jobs due to the inequality they suffer in the media profession.

William Hopkinson, First Secretary Political, UK Embassy Belgrade commented: ‘As the discussion has highlighted, the report does not make for comfortable reading’. He noted: ‘If the media cannot address issues of inequality, society cannot move forward’. Unquestionably, gender inequality in the newsroom and a lack of female leadership in the media reinforces and maintains harmful gender perceptions and stereotypes.

HMA Nicholas Abbott, UK Ambassador to Kosovo, said: ‘I am very impressed by the research study which puts in one place a series of serious issues that warrant a serious discussion. I hope therefore that the report and today’s event is but the beginning of action’. Abbott added: ‘The recommendations in the report are very straightforward and achievable. I encourage you to do follow up activities to ensure that the recommendations do happen’.

The studies will contribute to PCi’s ongoing engagement with media in Kosovo and Serbia to take strategic action that broadens the space for narratives that contribute to strengthening relations and promoting democracy and human rights. Explore the reports and recommendations on this link.

CSOs from Kosovo and Serbia meet key EU interlocutors

CSOs from Kosovo and Serbia meet in Brussels

A delegation of civil society from Kosovo and Serbia had the opportunity to meet key interlocutors from various EU institutions in Brussels.

CSOs from kosovo and serbia meet in Brussels

A delegation of civil society from Kosovo and Serbia had the opportunity to meet key interlocutors from various EU institutions in Brussels. Members of the Kosovo-Serbia Rapid Response Mechanism presented ideas about the role civil society can play given the current tensions on the ground and hopes for a comprehensive agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.

The delegation met with the respective rapporteurs for Kosovo and Serbia, Ms. Viola von Cramon-Taubadel and Mr. Vladimír Bilčík, plus the team of the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajčák. They also met with officials from the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Of note, several interlocutors spoke of a sense of momentum that apparently exists within member states regarding the EU enlargement process. This comes as something of a surprise given the profound feeling in the Western Balkans that accession is stalled. Regular perception surveys show growing ambivalence towards the EU path, particularly in Serbia, reenforcing the need for a more strategic approach to communications to reassert not only the European perspective, but to reiterate that the EU remains the region’s largest donor and trading partner.

The participants – whilst acknowledging the need for confidentiality during negotiations – raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding both the structure and content of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. They proposed to engage with their respective governments to request that more information be placed into the public domain. Furthermore, concerns were raised about the dilution of reporting on Chapter 35, covering the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, particularly the intermediate benchmarks.

The participants also reiterated that civil society should be seen a resource and an ally both in the dialogue and in broader reform processes. With the relations in specific communities, civil society offers early warning capabilities that can help identify specific grievances and help reduce the scope for misunderstandings by relaying perspectives around an issue from local actors.

The civil society organisations reaffirmed their commitment to complementing and amplifying messages that are grounded in the need for compromise, confronting their own governments where needed to challenge specific narratives about some aspect of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. This was deemed increasingly imperative due to recent tensions in north Kosovo, including the deployment of Special Operations Units and the resignation of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo institutions, and discussions regarding a comprehensive agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.

The Kosovo-Serbia Rapid Response Mechanism will continue to meet on a quarterly basis to formulate joint approaches to the problems affecting communities in Serbia and Kosovo. In addition, they will meet on an ad hoc basis as when required to, for instance, voice their concerns about a particular instance of divisive rhetoric or an event that threatens to harm the very environment in which dialogue is taking place.  

North Kosovo: time to turn to civil society

Social Europe - North Kosovo Ian Bancroft

Writing for Social Europe, PCi’s Project Manager for the Western Balkans presents a background of the present crisis of the Kosovo institutions and their relationship to the internationally mediated dialogue which should lead to the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The article draws attention to the gaps between the agreements that the process has facilitated and their implementation on the ground, highlighting an absence of voices from beyond the political elites of both countries as a key missing element from the dialogue.

Number plate in North Kosovo
The narcissism of minor differences: in July Pristina insisted all number plates had to be issued by Kosovo, not Serbia (Adam Cohn, CC BY-ND-ND 2.0)

The explosive tensions of recent weeks have exposed the limits of the dialogue brokered by the European Union.

The evolving relationship between Kosovo and Serbia, facilitated by the European Union, is facing its sternest test since 2011, when barricades throughout north Kosovo reflected a situation threatening to spiral out of control. Hopes are high for a final agreement in the coming year or so, to normalise relations between the two, and so are the diplomatic stakes. To supplement however this path towards sustainable peace, the EU must consider how it can better engage those constructive voices from civil society thus far largely neglected.   

For the last year and a half, the predominantly Serb north of Kosovo has been gripped by soaring tensions—amplified by Russia’s war in Ukraine and concerns about the stability of the western Balkans more generally. Last July, Kosovo moved ahead with plans to end the use on its territory of vehicle licence plates issues by the Republic of Serbia. Simultaneously, it announced that Serbian identity cards would no longer be valid to enter Kosovo, Belgrade having long rejected those issued by Pristina.

While the latter argument was swiftly resolved, the former lingered on. Kosovo resisted repeated pleas from the EU and the United States for a delay. As the stakes rose, Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s president, reiterated calls for the establishment of an ‘Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities’. This was a central element of the Brussels Agreement to normalise relationships, brokered by the EU in 2013, but which remains unimplemented.

Mass resignation

Also critical to that agreement was integration of policing, albeit with a commitment that the commander of the Kosovo Police in the four northern municipalities would be a Kosovo Serb. The situation escalated in November with mass resignation of Serb police officers—ostensibly because they refused to impose warnings and then fines on their own community.

They were swiftly followed by elected officials (mayors and municipal assembly members), judges, prosecutors, local-government employees and others who had transferred to the Kosovo system in the past decade or so. It is a profound blow to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, a key dimension of which is the integration of Kosovo Serbs through the 2013 agreement.

The security vacuum created by the resignations has been partly filled by members of the Kosovo Police special operations units, replete with long-barrelled weapons and tactical uniforms. Though professional and well-trained, they are ill-disposed to such tasks as patrolling traffic. Their numbers have been supplemented by mainly Albanian-speaking police brought from elsewhere in Kosovo.

There have been various reports of harassment and intimidation, including an assault on a prominent civil-society figure. Trust between the local community and the police has broken down, with patrols having been shot at on several occasions.

The arrest on December 10th of a Serb former member of the police led to renewed roadblocks, which would ultimately stand for some 20 days or so. There were a spate of accompanying incidents, including shootings, vehicle burnings and attacks on journalists. A reconnaissance patrol by the EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) was targeted with a stun grenade, leading to widespread condemnation. The barricades have been dismantled but the crisis is far from over.

Point of contention

Though the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue has been imperfect, sizeable steps have been taken. The presence of the institutions of Kosovo in the north had been becoming more routine. Many more Serbs possess Kosovo ID cards and even passports. Money flows from the public purse in Pristina to north Kosovo.

A major point of contention remains the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. It was conceived as the primary mechanism for integrating the functions sustained by the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo, which declared its independence in 2008 after a violent conflict, having previously been treated as a province of Serbia in the former Yugoslavia. Education, healthcare and waste disposal, to name but a few, are vital services which remain under Belgrade’s remit.

The association/community has, however, been fundamentally opposed by Pristina—despite a ruling in 2015 by Kosovo’s Constitutional Court obliging its establishment. Many fear that it would serve as an instrument of ethnic division, with some going so far as to describe it as Kosovo’s own Republika Srpska, the predominantly Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina which frequently pushes for secession. Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, has publicly rejected it.

The EU continues to believe that a vital window of opportunity exists finally to reach a binding deal on the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The incumbents in Belgrade and Pristina enjoy the requisite support to take difficult decisions—whether they are willing to is another matter. Russia’s war in Ukraine has focused minds across Europe on the need for a lasting solution to the impasses in the western Balkans. There have even been suggestions that spring 2023 is essentially a deadline, though this feels ambitious given the experiences of recent months.

Missing element

The latest developments, however, have again exposed an element missing in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue—substantive engagement of civil society in Kosovo and Serbia. The process has been elite-led, with negotiations conducted largely in secret. There is little in the way of transparency. The definitive content of agreements remains disputed and open to interpretation.

While ‘constructive ambiguity’ may be deemed necessary to facilitate difficult compromises, it permits the evasion of commitments if and when it comes to implementation. Several agreements have come a cropper, with both sides blaming one another for the deadlocks then hampering progress. Constructive ambiguity has proved a short-term fix with a long-lasting hangover.

Priorities have been set in Brussels—by and between the respective negotiating teams—to the neglect of the communities on the ground directly implicated. Many wonder, sometimes out loud, just how they have benefited from over a decade of negotiations, plus those ultimately leading up to Kosovo’s ‘supervised’ independence.

Even 20 years on from the end of the war, rarely do citizens’ concerns come in first place. Kosovo and Serbia meanwhile face a common challenge—emigrating populations making their homes elsewhere.

Critical voices have been intentionally marginalised and ultimately found themselves resorting to unconstructive mud-throwing. Yet influential civil-society figures are vital to help prepare communities for the day after an agreement is reached—figures who can help navigate the pitfalls of implementation as promises are made, fulfilled and then forgotten.

Destabilisation resulting from a potential breakdown of the dialogue would have a profound impact on various communities in Serbia and Kosovo. It is thus imperative to invest resources in those capable of managing conflicts in their localities and building structures resilient to malign influences. These voices confront disinformation and divisive rhetoric, building confidence within and between communities.

Distant horizon

As the tenth anniversary approaches of the Brussels Agreement—arguably one of the high points of EU diplomacy—it is appropriate to reflect on the process and the structure of the subsequent dialogues. The destination of Kosovo and Serbia remains broadly the same—membership of an enlarged EU. Yet that horizon has become increasingly distant.

Building genuine and lasting peace in such a challenging and often unfavourable context requires that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue be opened to constructive voices from civil society. It is they who can genuinely represent their communities and articulate a vision for the future, unbound by the diplomatic necessities and niceties as sensed in Brussels.

A time for new constructive voices

picture from kosovo

Following a gathering in Gračanica/Graçanicë, a diverse group of civil society organisations from Kosovo and Serbia have adopted the following joint statement calling for new constructive voices – voices that look to the future whilst retaining a keen eye on the past; voices that seek out partnerships and coalitions beyond the red lines that are supposed to define them; and voices that stand up publicly against divisive and derogatory rhetoric.

The constant cycle of escalation and de-escalation in relations between Kosovo and Serbia represents a failure of political imagination.

The energy taken up in contending with the latest crisis distracts from the mountain of pressing issues which directly impact the day to day lives of citizens in Serbia and Kosovo. 

The trend is already for people to be leaving Serbia, Kosovo, and elsewhere in the Western Balkans, especially amongst the youth. As new barricades are erected, so new bags are packed. Very few are likely to return. The future of our countries will be lived elsewhere.  

Many groups deemed outside the spectrum of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue are fundamentally ignored. The Roma community, for one, finds itself marginalised in both Serbia and Kosovo.

With the prospect of violence more pronounced than it has been for a decade, it is time for new constructive voices to be heard – voices that look to the future whilst retaining a keen eye on the past; voices that seek out partnerships and coalitions beyond the red lines that are supposed to define us; voices that stand up publicly against divisive and derogatory rhetoric.

We, the undersigned, endeavour to maintain channels of communication that reduce the possibilities for misunderstanding and disinformation. Too often we have talked past one another, insisting on the pertinence of one point whilst underestimating or completely ignoring the existence of another.

We think we understand the minutiae of an issue but fail to consider how it is understood or viewed by other communities. We all should be committed to listening with open ears and open minds.  

Only by sharing perspectives and perceptions from our respective communities can we start to move towards a common path for the future. Many of the problems our respective communities face are almost identical, yet we rarely acknowledge this fact.   

If ever there was a time for solidarity in the last decade it is now. The war in Ukraine is a painful reminder of the stark realities of war, even as the legacies of our own remain close to hand.

The cause of peace requires not just words to that effect, but images and relationships that embody togetherness. We stand opposed to all undue projections of force and all narratives of hate and division.

The futures of Kosovo and Serbia are inescapably tied-up with one another, and an agreement on the normalisation of relations is a vital first step in building a better tomorrow. But it is only a first step.    

Signatories
  1. Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture (ACDC)
  2. Aktiv
  3. The Balkan Forum
  4. Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  5. Centar for Democracy and Education – Valley, Bujanovac
  6. Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Balkans, Belgrade
  7. Center for Peace and Tolerance (CPT)
  8. Community Building Mitrovica
  9. Civic Initiatives
  10. European Fund for the Balkans
  11. Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society (BFPE)
  12. Forum for Development and Multiethnic Collaboration (FDMC)
  13. Goraždevac Media Group
  14. Institute for Territorial Economic Development – InTER
  15. Jelena Lončar, Academic, University of Belgrade
  16. Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS)
  17. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)
  18. Local Peace
  19. Milan Antonijević, Lawyer, Serbia
  20. New Perspektiva
  21. New Social Initiative (NSI)
  22. NGO Integra
  23. NGO Be Active 16, Presevo
  24. NGO Livrit, Presevo
  25. Peer Educators Network (PEN)
  26. Rahim Salihi, Civil Society Activist, Bujanovac
  27. Radio Peja
  28. Radio Astra, Prizren
  29. RTV KIM
  30. TV Prizreni, Prizren
  31. Valon Arifi, Civil Society Activist
  32. Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo (VoRAE)
  33. Vjollca Krasniqi, Academic, University of Pristina
  34. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
  35. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia

Media Award 2: deadline extended

Media award 2

Dear Journalists, Editors, Journalism Students, and Writing Enthusiasts,

We want to inform you that the deadline for the submission of your articles for the Media Award 2 has been extended until 1st of February 2023.

We are inviting you to write your story on a slice of life that depicts a reality, be that positive or a challenge, from the prism of multiethnicity in Kosovo and/or Serbia.

For this year’s award, PCi has doubled the first prize in both categories (audio-visual and written format) to € 2,000 Euro and looks forward to receiving your entries.

Should you have a story that was written and published in the past, anytime from 1st of January 2022 (until 31st of January 2023), you are eligible for the Media Award 2.

One of the main criteria for eligibility is that these stories must be written in Albanian or Serbian language and must have been published on or before 31st of January 2023 (earliest date of publication must be: 1st of January 2022).

For additional information about the Media Award criteria, please refer to the documents below. The call for application is available in English, Serbian and Albanian language.

Media Award – Kosovo and Serbia: call for applications

Medijska nagrada – Kosovo i Srbija: poziv za prijavljivanje

Çmimi për Media – Kosovë dhe Serbi: thirrje për aplikim

Applications are received online through the Google Form link below: https://forms.gle/SHBtT7pVmm2unyZd8

Should you have any questions, please reach out to us via email at: media.award@peacefulchange.org.

Good luck! The Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) Team

Civil society stands by assaulted colleague

Serbia Kosovo joint statement

This statement was drafted by participants in the Kosovo-Serbia Rapid Response Mechanism, comprised of CSOs committed to reacting to any instances of divisive rhetoric or destabilising incidents which can negatively affect relations between communities and harm the environment for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

By sharing perspectives on specific issues, the mechanism helps deepen understanding about the sources of grievance within particularly communities and reduces the scope for a lack of awareness or misinformation. This process is facilitated by Peaceful Change initiative as part of the UK-government funded ALVED (Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development) project.

Civil society organisations from Kosovo and Serbia have expressed their support for Miodrag Milićević from NGO Aktiv, who was verbally and physically assaulted by a member of Kosovo Police special units in the vicinity of the Jarinje crossing in north Kosovo.

On 14th November, Miodrag Milićević from NGO Aktiv was verbally and physically assaulted by a member of Kosovo Police special units in the vicinity of the Jarinje crossing in north Kosovo. The assault both reflects and contributes to the deteriorating atmosphere for trust and peaceful coexistence in Kosovo which has been observable in recent months and has reached an alarming scale of escalation with the withdrawal of Serb representatives from Kosovo institutions.

Recent actions by key parties contributing to this escalation have been taken without due consideration to long-term consequences and the damage that can be done to the underlying framework for normalisation. Continuing an environment of threats, intimidation, humiliation, and mistrust will only exacerbate an already fragile situation.

Our organisations have committed to improving the conditions for normalisation by creating channels between communities and building trust to contribute to a long-term and sustainable peace. At this time, we call on all stakeholders for peace in the region to refrain from escalatory language and to use relations, platforms and channels that cross community lines and political lines to create engagement, build understanding of the multiple perspectives on the present context, and contribute to an environment in which key actors take well-considered actions that have in view the well-being of all communities.

We also call on the international community to demonstrate an appropriate urgency in their engagement with the present crisis. We stand with our colleague, Mr. Milićević, and call on the incident to be addressed in line with the relevant legal frameworks in place.

Signatories:
  1. Aktiv
  2. Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP)
  3. Community Building Mitrovica (CBM)
  4. Center for Peace and Tolerance (CPT)
  5. Civic Initiatives, Serbia
  6. European Movement in Serbia (EMiS)
  7. Forum for Development and Multiethnic Collaboration (FDMC)
  8. Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society (BFPE)
  9. Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo
  10. Institute for Territorial Economic Development – InTER
  11. Jelena Lončar, University of Belgrade
  12. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)
  13. Local Peace
  14. Media Center Caglavica
  15. Mitrovica Women Association for Human Rights
  16. New Social Initiative (NSI)
  17. NGO Be Active 16, Presevo
  18. Portali LUGINALAJM, Bujanovac
  19. Radio Gorazdevac
  20. Radio Astra, Prizren
  21. Rahim Salihi, civil society activist, Bujanovac
  22. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
  23. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia
  24. Valon Arifi, Civic Activist
  25. Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo (VoRAE)
  26. Vjollca Krasniqi, University of Prishtina

Citizens must not be held hostage by the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue

A diverse group of 40 civil society organisations, activists, and media outlets from Kosovo and Serbia express their profound concern about the impact of a lack of progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on local communities.

Given the recent EU reports and developments on the ground, we the undersigned are concerned about the impact of a lack of progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on local communities in Serbia and Kosovo. It is people on the ground who suffer most from the persistence of tensions and mistrust. All sides must therefore desist from inflammatory rhetoric that harms and damages relations within and between communities. The scope for ambiguities must be reduced through transparency and accountability. All citizens must be clear about what has been agreed to, whilst the process of dialogue itself must be brought closer to the very citizens affected by it.  

The scenes of the Serbian Ortodox Church’s Patriarch Porfirije being greeted on the streets of Prizren send a positive message of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence; images and sentiments that provide hope for the future of relations within and between Serbia and Kosovo. We commend all parties for their constructive approach – in particular, Gazmend Muhaxheri, the mayor of Peja/Peć, who attended the proceedings – and hope that these foundations can be built upon. 

However, we also call for tangible progress on a number of other fronts. In Kosovo, there is a fundamental lack of dialogue and cooperation through elected institutions. Srpska Lista parliamentarians are failing to represent the needs of the Kosovo Serb community. The continued absence of their MPs from the Kosovo Assembly means that their constituents and the daily problems they face are not effectively voiced. We call for Srpska Lista’s immediate return and active participation.

Many agreements are barely mentioned today. The main bridge in Mitrovica remains closed to traffic, despite extensive EU investment. Both parties should engage to resolve the demarcation of Mitrovica North, which has hampered the reopening process. Additional steps must be taken to ensure the Bridge serves as an inclusive and shared space that connects people from both sides of the river Ibar.

With respect to the issue of licence plates, all parties should work constructively to find a solution that will not harm people on the ground. The new crossing points agreed to previously should be opened forthwith to make it easier for citizens to travel without unnecessary distance and delay. The free flow of people should be a fundamental part of the normalisation of relations.

The mutual recognition of diplomas has stalled, leading to shortages of vital staff in key public institutions in south Serbia and in Kosovo, for instance, including those pertaining to health, education, justice, and access to services more broadly. It is the most profound example of the consequences of a lack of implementation of what has been agreed to, and should be addressed without further delay.

In south Serbia, there is a sense that the integration of the Albanian community is being damaged by the strained relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The seven-point plan for integration should be a priority for the new Serbian government, including the inclusion of Albanian representatives in its Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Preshevë/Presevo, Bujanovc/Bujanovac and Medvegjë/Medvedja. Concerns pertaining to the conduct of the census in Medvegjë/Medvedja should be addressed immediately, and there should be a thorough review of the passivation process.

We, the undersigned, fully support any process that can bring new momentum and positive energy, and which can benefit citizens from all walks of life. Building trust and confidence is vital for future relations within and between communities.

Signatories

  1. AKTIV
  2. Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture (ACDC)
  3. Association for Heritage and Cultural Creativity Presevo
  4. Balkan Forum
  5. Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP)
  6. Centre for Peace and Tolerance (CPT)
  7. Civic initiative (Gradjanske inicijative)
  8. Community Building Mitrovica (CBM)
  9. Centar for Democracy and Education – Valley
  10. European Center for Minority Issues Kosovo (ECMI)
  11. European Movement in Serbia (EMIS)
  12. European Fund for the Balkans (EFB)
  13. Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society (BFPE)
  14. Gorazdevac Media Group
  15. Human Center Mitrovica
  16. Jelena Lončar, Academic, University of Belgrade
  17. Junior Chamber International Prizren (JCI- Prizren)
  18. Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS)
  19. Kosovar Gender Studies Center
  20. Kosova Info
  21. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)
  22. Mitrovica Women Association for Human Rights
  23. Ministria e Lajmeve Presevo
  24. Media Center Caglavica
  25. NGO Budi Aktivan 16 Presevo
  26. NGO Integra
  27. Peer Educators Network (PEN)
  28. Professor Vjollca Krasniqi, University of Pristina
  29. Pozitiv 365 Presevo
  30. Rahim Salihi, civil society activist, Bujanovac
  31. Radio Astra Prizren
  32. Radio Peja/Pec
  33. Sbunker
  34. TV Prizreni
  35. The Future Bujanovac
  36. Valon Arifi, civil society activist
  37. Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (VoRAE)
  38. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
  39. Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia
  40. Youth Trails Presevo
  41. NGO Livrit Presevo
  42. Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo
  43. New Perspektiva

Dear Journalists, Editors, Journalism Students and Writing Enthusiasts,

We are inviting you to write your story on a slice of life that depicts a reality, be that positive or a challenge, from the prism of multiethnicity in Kosovo and Serbia. The Media Award accepts applications until December 31st, 2022, which means there is three months’ time to research and write a story that shows how different nationalities coexist in Serbia or Kosovo.

For the year 2022, PCi has doubled the first prize in both categories (audio-visual and written format) to € 2,000 Euro and looks forward to receiving your entries.

Should you have a story that was written in the past, anytime during the period between 1st of January 2022 and the 31st of December 2022, you are eligible for the Media Award 2.

One of the main criteria for eligibility is that these stories must be written in Albanian or Serbian language and must have been published on or before 31st of December 2022 (earliest date of publication must be: 1st of January 2022).

For additional information about the Media Award criteria, please refer to the documents below. The Call for Application is available in English, Serbian and Albanian language.

Applications are received online through the Google Form link below: https://forms.gle/SHBtT7pVmm2unyZd8

Should you have any questions, please reach out to us via email at: media.award@peacefulchange.org.

Good luck!

The Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) Team

Kosovo-Serbia: Addressing COVID-19 – allowing local voices to be heard

PCi works to amplify local voices, especially those of marginalised groups, in support of equitable development. We worked with our partners Aktiv, Civic Initiatives and Peer Educators Network to ensure non-majority communities in Serbia and Kosovo are better aware of – and able to advocate for – municipal services to which they are entitled.

In response to COVID-19, PCi worked with Aktiv to create a ‘Rapid Response Crisis Group’ (RRCG) to ensure that non-majority communities in Kosovo were receiving equitable access to information that sought to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In this first of the video stories which will be produced by all three partners, Aktiv sheds more light on the efforts of the RRCG to ensure equitable access to information. Click here for the film with English subtitles

Improving access to mental health information in Kosovo

PCi are working with partners, among others, to ensure non-majority communities in Serbia and Kosovo have better access to information on COVID-19. The goal of the ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development – ALVED’ project is to strengthen the capacity of citizens in Kosovo and Serbia to advocate for an effective and equitable distribution of public services and for a greater inclusion of non-majority communities in local decision making.

The project is funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of the United Kingdom (CSSF) and implemented by a network of five organisations, including our partner Peer Educators Network (PEN) from Kosovo, who actively work to bring social change through community work led by youth. With their first video-cast published as part of ALVED, PEN is providing information about the effects of the pandemic on mental health, as well as some advice on how to cope with this situation. The video is available in English, Albanian and Serbian language, and was shared across social media by a network of organisations working with diverse groups in Kosovo, including non-majority communities.