On 20 February 2006, the so-called status negotiations process has officially started. Under the leadership of an international negotiation team, the discussions between representatives of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) in Pristina and delegates of the Serbian government are meant to set the groundwork for the future and eventually final political status of Kosovo.

While minority rights are a central issue of these negotiations, with the international community insisting that the degree of achievement of these rights will essentially determine whether Kosovo will be granted independence or not, the Kosovo minorities have not been called to participate directly in the negotiations. The non-Serb minority communities in particular lack the possibility to make their voice and concerns heard.

Roma have requested a direct participation in the talks in Vienna. They have also requested to be granted full equality with all the other people of Kosovo regardless what the future status of the province will be. The situation of the Roma refugees and the IDPs remains of particular concern.”

May 2006

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