Bloggers are joyful or sceptical in Pristina, reserved and concerned in Belgrade.
By Safet Kabashaj and Biljana Pekusic for Southeast European Times in Pristina and Belgrade -- 15/09/12
Pristina celebrated the end of supervised independence on Monday (September 10th) when the International Steering Group for Kosovo decided to complete the country's transition period of four and a half years.
"Formally, the [2007 Marti Ahtisaari] Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status does not exist anymore as a separate and superior legal act; now the constitution of the Republic of Kosovo represents the sole basis for the country's legal framework," the group said.
The mandate of the International Civilian Office -- an institution which tracked the implementation of the Ahtisaari plan -- is also completed. However, NATO, KFOR and EULEX will remain in Kosovo.
Expectedly, bloggers' reactions differed in Kosovo and Serbia but unexpectedly, they differed within Kosovo as well.
While the many in Kosovo see the development as a very important milestone, some said they are indifferent or sceptical that it will change anything substantively.
"The decision shows that Kosovo has passed the exam to be a state with full sovereignty, and I believe this is a historic success because it is within a relatively short period," Edita Tahiri, deputy prime minister of Kosovo, told SETimes.
Most Kosovo Albanian bloggers share their enthusiasm. "This is really a historic day in which we can show the world that we know how to run," Toli said.
Others, however, argued the decision is not a big deal but may become so if it tangibly changes the people's lives.
"We have to see how many jobs will be created, what will be the average salary, at what percentage the unemployment will fall," Plaku said.
"It would eventually become a big deal if our leaders work hard to create jobs, to improve the justice system and advance the country towards the EU," Kastraveci said.
Reactions in Belgrade were reserved.
"The end of the process of Kosovo's supervised independence has no significance for Serbia, because we do not accept neither supervised nor non-supervised independence," Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said.
Dacic added Belgrade is ready to continue the dialogue with Pristina in order to find a compromise solution acceptable for both sides.
"Regarding the dialogue's level and format, President [Tomislav] Nikolic will discuss that at the UN general Assembly session," Daic added, signalling the venue for defining future talks as well as Serbia's insistence international law of which UN Resolution 1244, which defines Kosovo as Serbian territory, is a centrepiece.
Many Serbs are concerned with the group's conclusions that Kosovo has implemented the comprehensive proposal for the Kosovo status settlement in a significant measure as well as it has adopted the constitutional amendments and laws to end supervised independence.
Kosovo MP Rada Trajkovic said she is worried how Kosovo laws regulating the rights of the Serbian minority will be implemented.
"International community representatives said they have trust in the Kosovo institutions and will invest great deal of effort for those institutions to implement that which is in the constitution, but surely know there are many problems in the implementation," Trajkovic told SETimes.
Others argued that Serbs can expect nothing good because the increased independence of Kosovo's temporary institutions do not initiate trust and hope for the fate of the Serbs there, Aleksandar Vulin said.
"From past examples, there where Pristina's temporary institutions could decide independently, we had every injustice, every kind of violation of laws and regulations," Vulin added.
"Neighbours, good luck. You will need it ... Go in the direction of the EU, while Serbia will remain Serbia," Ranko said.