Christian cultural heritage in Kosovo
Question for written answer E-002210-19
to the Commission
Dominique Bilde (ID)
According to a report by the International Centre for Transitional Justice, some 230 000 Serbs, Romani and Gorani have fled Kosovo for Serbia and Montenegro since June 1999. In a wave of persecution on 17 March 2004, 19 people were killed and 800 homes and 33 orthodox churches and monasteries were set on fire.
The report also notes that 155 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been desecrated since 1999, as well as Serbian cemeteries and memorials, including those commemorating the dead of the Second World War.
In a March 2014 report, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe stressed that there was no political will in Kosovo to put its framework on cultural heritage protection into practice. In addition to acts of vandalism there have allegedly been breaches of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s property rights, for example during an EU-funded project to develop the Rugova Valley.
1. How does the Commission intend to promote the preservation and restoration of Christian heritage in Kosovo?
2. How will the Commission make sure that EU funding programmes do not benefit projects that infringe the rights of Kosovo’s Serbian Orthodox Church, as in the case above?