Fields of work

Normalization of relations/dialogue

NSI contributes to normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina

Beograd – Pristina; Photo: EPA / Valdrin Xhemaj

NSI facilitates open exchange on the Brussels dialogue and normalization process among opinion-makers from civil society from Kosovo and Serbia. Moreover, NSI provides evidence-based independent analyses and recommendations for decision-makers involved in the process.

Key Assumptions:

–   There is a need for fostering a regular in-depth dialogue between civil society actors engaged in the normalization of relations from both sides, so to be able to propose improvements to the Track I dialogue among the officials based on an in-depth understanding of internal political dynamics and sentiments on both sides and NSI is well-positioned to facilitate such dialogue.

–    NSI will represent and include diverse representatives of the Kosovo Serbs community in the dialogue between civil society actors from different sides, which will add important voices and perspectives to the process.

–   NSI is capable of delivering high quality analysis using the evidence collected through qualitative and quantitative research, and producing recommendations for which NSI is able to advocate with decision makers.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of Normalization of relations/Dialogue, see our Reference List.

Normalization of relations/dialogue

NSI contributes to normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina

Beograd – Pristina; Photo: EPA / Valdrin Xhemaj

NSI facilitates open exchange on the Brussels dialogue and normalization process among opinion-makers from civil society from Kosovo and Serbia. Moreover, NSI provides evidence-based independent analyses and recommendations for decision-makers involved in the process.

Key Assumptions:

–   There is a need for fostering a regular in-depth dialogue between civil society actors engaged in the normalization of relations from both sides, so to be able to propose improvements to the Track I dialogue among the officials based on an in-depth understanding of internal political dynamics and sentiments on both sides and NSI is well-positioned to facilitate such dialogue.

–    NSI will represent and include diverse representatives of the Kosovo Serbs community in the dialogue between civil society actors from different sides, which will add important voices and perspectives to the process.

–   NSI is capable of delivering high quality analysis using the evidence collected through qualitative and quantitative research, and producing recommendations for which NSI is able to advocate with decision makers.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of Normalization of relations/Dialogue, see our Reference List.

Trustbuilding and Dealing with the Past

New Social Initiative supports different approaches to Trustbuilding and Dealing with the Past initiatives among communities

NSI intents to achieve several outcomes in order to meet this goal:

– NSI will be the channel of positive stories on inter-ethnic relations and reaching wider public by offering the innovative communication tools for visual and public affairs influencers (YouTubers, Instagramers, TikTokers, Journalists, Professionals and CSOs);

– NSI will be the convener and facilitator for structured exchange of attitudes and opinions, thus supporting trust building and collaboration among CSOs speaking on behalf of different ethnic groups in Kosovo;

– NSI will harvest and spread counter-narratives and positive stories, thus creating space for exchange and dialogue by partnering with media and digital outlets across Kosovo.

Key Assumptions:

–   New innovative solutions for trust building will resonate better with citizens, especially youth, and the positive frame of the inter-ethnic relations could disrupt diminish the strength and malign influence of the negative narratives they were socialized in;

Photo: Emerging Europej

–  “Pockets of Freedom” or forums, which remove the publicity constraints, will strengthen the bonds between CSOs from different communities, thus increasing the trust between them and allowing them to establish stronger coalitions on crucial societal topics, especially those related to the inclusion of the non-majority communities;

–  Engaging different audiences with opposite narratives on the same topic will soften the rooted stereotypes about the “other” communities and address the grievances from the past, and will fertilize the ground for trust building.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of DwP/trust-building, see our Reference List.

Trustbuilding and Dealing with the Past

New Social Initiative supports different approaches to Trustbuilding and Dealing with the Past initiatives among communities

Photo: Emerging Europej

NSI intents to achieve several outcomes in order to meet this goal:

– NSI will be the channel of positive stories on inter-ethnic relations and reaching wider public by offering the innovative communication tools for visual and public affairs influencers (YouTubers, Instagramers, TikTokers, Journalists, Professionals and CSOs);

– NSI will be the convener and facilitator for structured exchange of attitudes and opinions, thus supporting trust building and collaboration among CSOs speaking on behalf of different ethnic groups in Kosovo;

– NSI will harvest and spread counter-narratives and positive stories, thus creating space for exchange and dialogue by partnering with media and digital outlets across Kosovo.

Key Assumptions:

–   New innovative solutions for trust building will resonate better with citizens, especially youth, and the positive frame of the inter-ethnic relations could disrupt diminish the strength and malign influence of the negative narratives they were socialized in;

–  “Pockets of Freedom” or forums, which remove the publicity constraints, will strengthen the bonds between CSOs from different communities, thus increasing the trust between them and allowing them to establish stronger coalitions on crucial societal topics, especially those related to the inclusion of the non-majority communities;

–  Engaging different audiences with opposite narratives on the same topic will soften the rooted stereotypes about the “other” communities and address the grievances from the past, and will fertilize the ground for trust building.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of DwP/trust-building, see our Reference List.

Citizen participation

NSI is working on increasing non-majority participation in decision making processes for the purpose of getting better services and making institutions more accountable

Source: NSI photo archive

NSI works to achieve this goal on both supply and demand side of the citizen participation: 1) on the demand side, the outcomes of our engagement are the benefits that citizens have by utilizing the mechanisms of citizens’ participation, and 2) the creation of low profile community spaces which will support resonant voices; 3) on the supply side, the outcomes of our activities will be established and improved participation mechanisms in the institutions (in mostly Kosovo Serb majority municipalities).

Key Assumptions:

–    The increased demand for the better services will boost the efficiency of the institutions and increase their accountability;

–    Resonant voices are reluctant to speak out because of the non-pluralistic nature of the political arena of the Kosovo Serb community, but their participation in closed group discussions will encourage them to speak up in the future and preserve social capital required for any collective action;

–   Kosovo Serb majority municipalities will be open for cooperation on non-controversial issues, and will accept the citizen participation mechanisms.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of Citizen Participation, see our Reference List.

Citizen participation

NSI is working on increasing non-majority participation in decision making processes for the purpose of getting better services and making institutions more accountable

Source: NSI photo archive

NSI works to achieve this goal on both supply and demand side of the citizen participation: 1) on the demand side, the outcomes of our engagement are the benefits that citizens have by utilizing the mechanisms of citizens’ participation, and 2) the creation of low profile community spaces which will support resonant voices; 3) on the supply side, the outcomes of our activities will be established and improved participation mechanisms in the institutions (in mostly Kosovo Serb majority municipalities).

Key Assumptions:

–    The increased demand for the better services will boost the efficiency of the institutions and increase their accountability;

–    Resonant voices are reluctant to speak out because of the non-pluralistic nature of the political arena of the Kosovo Serb community, but their participation in closed group discussions will encourage them to speak up in the future and preserve social capital required for any collective action;

–   Kosovo Serb majority municipalities will be open for cooperation on non-controversial issues, and will accept the citizen participation mechanisms.

To see the projects we are implementing or have implemented in the area of Citizen Participation, see our Reference List.

E-Municipalities: A step towards full citizen participation

Since its establishment until today, there is a growing trend in the number of users of E-Municipalities platforms, as well as in the number of people who use mechanisms for citizen participation.

–  Using E-Municipalities, citizens received answers to 51 questions from their mayors;

–  Through the 48-hour system, a total of 54 requests were sent to municipalities;

–  In the last period, E-Municipalities are also used for online public consultations, and so far a total of 5 have been conducted;

–  Recognizing the growth of interest among citizens, NSI translated the platforms into the Albanian language.

NSI conducted an online questionnaire to gather citizens’ views and obtain recommendations for improving E-Municipalities.

Catalog of Civil Society organisations: Vol 1 – CSOs in Serb community in Kosovo

This catalog is one of the steps towards presenting and bringing civil society organizations from the Serb community closer to the community itself, but also to the other stakeholders. The catalog provides profiles of organizations from the Serb community including their fields of activity, interests, greatest successes as well as contacts and resources for further information. The catalog will be revised once a year, to add profiles of new organizations, update profiles of the represented organizations, and archive the profiles of organizations that are no longer active.

Note: The order in which the organizations are presented is alphabetical for easier use of catalog. The presentation schedule of organizations does not imply their importance, size, or longevity. The content of each profile is the sole responsibility of the organization presented in the catalog.

Open and dynamic space for discussion, within and between the Serb and other communities in Kosovo and influencing a better understanding and improving the position of the Serb community is the goal of Kosovo Open Society Foundation (KFOS) project “Democracy, Openness and the Perspective of the Serb Community in Kosovo” – OPEN. Part of this project is the catalog of the Civil Society Organizations in the Serb Community in Kosovo which is intended to better inform citizens about the work of the civil society organizations. The content of each profile is the sole responsibility of the organization presented in the catalog and does not represent the views of KFOS neither of New Social Initiative and the Centre for the Development of Multi-ethnic Cooperation whose contribution is this catalog.

Dealing with the Past Principles

The Principles on Dealing with the Past is a civic initiative promoted by a group of practitioners and civil society organizations in the field of Dealing with the Past. The group embarked on a joint initiative to chart and endorse a set of principles that will inform and guide political and public actors on how to engage with victims, survivors, painful pasts and historical narratives. The initiative aims to prevent harmful discourse and actions related to the legacy of the conflict and will serve as a reference document to which anyone violating its principles should be held morally accountable.

Dealing with the Past Principles in the context of Kosovo are produced by The Nonformal Coalition for the Principles for Dealing with the Past that consists of 5 organizations and one expert:

Humanitarian Law Center KosovoKRCT – Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture VictimsNew Social Initiative – Nova društvena inicijativa, IntegraYouth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo (YIHR KS), and Nora Ahmetaj. For the past year, this group has been working closely together to create a document that will hopefully prevent harmful discourse and actions related to the legacy of the conflict.

The initiative is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo, the British Embassy in Kosovo and UNDP.

Citizens Perspective on a Future Strategy for Transitional Justice in Kosovo

This report aims to bring forth Kosovo citizens’ perspective on transitional justice and dealing with the past, which should be taken into account when a future national strategy on transitional justice is devised. While the study does not offer a template on how the future strategy on transitional justice should look like, it offers a summary of goals, priorities, and the most salient issues that citizens in Kosovo consider crucial to be addressed and included in the strategy. The report should be read as a supplement to the previously published study entitled “Democratizing Transitional Justice in Kosovo” (May 2020), which offers a detailed review of past transitional justice initiatives in Kosovo and proposed a four-step approach to developing an institutional infrastructure for dealing with the past in Kosovo.

This report has been produced as a part of a 12–month project “Civil Society Framework for a National Strategy on Dealing with the Past in Kosovo”, implemented by New Social Initiative, Integra and PAX, funded by the US Embassy in Pristina and co-funded by PAX.

Authored by Dr. Gëzim Visoka and Besart Lumi

The diplomatic shuttle has taken off

This publication (The diplomatic shuttle has taken off) has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the author(s).

Democratizing Transitional Justice

Twenty-one years since the end of violent conflict in Kosovo, the country has not managed yet to devise a national strategy on transitional justice due to lack of political will and commitment among national and international stakeholders to genuinely engage with the legacies of the past.

Instead, the side-by-side transitional justice initiatives that proceeded have suffered from a lack of coordination and harmonisation, politicisation and personalisation by political leaders, and most importantly did not manage to ensure adequate representation and inclusion of affected communities (victims and survivors of the conflict).

This study suggests that Kosovo needs an integrated and deliberative infrastructure for transitional justice to ensure the legitimacy and efficiency of efforts for dealing with the past in Kosovo.

2020 Turmoil and Its Aftermath

This publication (2020 Turmoil and Its Aftermath) has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the author(s).

A short-lived promise – Government fallout and dialogue with Belgrade amid COVID-19 crisis

This publication (A short-lived promise – Government fallout and dialogue with Belgrade amid COVID-19 crisis) has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the author(s).

Public perception survey and public dialogue about future Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Kosovo

This survey is a result of a project/activity “Public perception survey and public dialogue about future Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Kosovo” funded by Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. The content and the results of this survey is in the sole responsibility of the organization INTEGRA, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of Kurti’s Government 

This publication (Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of Kurti’s Government ) has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the author(s).