The aim of this agreement was to establish reliable cadastral records in Kosovo. After 1999, Kosovo’s cadastral records covering the period from 1983 tо 1999 were destroyed, lost or relocated to Serbia, giving rise to about 60,000 unresolved property claims. UNMIK, with assistance of international donors, re-established Kosovo’s cadastral information system, however vacancies remained.
In accordance with this agreement, the establishment of reliable cadastre in Kosovo implied the following:
Belgrade was obliged to scan the original cadastral records from the period before 1999, which were relocated from Kosovo, and to submit the copies to the EU’s Special Representative. On the other hand, Priština was supposed to establish a professional agency tasked with comparison of the scanned copies of private property, private commercial property and private ecclesiastic property before 1999 to the reconstructed Kosovo cadastre.
Besides, the establishment of a tripartite group for implementation was envisaged, consisting of cadastral experts on both sides and chaired by the EU. The group would be tasked with identification of vacancies in the original cadastral records before 1999, as well as the oversight of the professional agency’s work. The cases identified by the professional agency as not having identical records, following the comparison, would be transferred to the dispute resolution mechanism by the implementing tripartite group.
The mechanism in the first instance would consist of a commission composed of international and Kosovar experts on property and cadastre issues, most of them appointed by the EU’s Special Representative. The Kosovo Supreme Court Chamber, with majority international judges, would act as a second-instance appeals body, the decisions of which would be final and enforceable.
The process of digitizing cadastral records in Serbia was completed in March 2016. The handover of the first package of digitized copies was made to the EU’s Special Representative in Priština, on 24 January 2014, while the cadastral documents for the municipality of Suva Reka was delivered to Kosovar side back in January 2012. In June 2016, Kosovo adopted the Law on Establishing the Agency for Comparison and Verification of Property (KPCVA).
However, these efforts did not ensure implementation and Serbia points out that KPCVA is in contravention of the reached agreement and that in that case decisions on the property rights of citizens and of the Serbian Orthodox Church would be entrusted to the bodies not envisaged by the agreement and with no representatives of Serbs (the property of whom is the subject of decision-making). Therefore, Serbia refuses to hand over the remaining cadastral records, while Priština asserts that it has met all its obligations by establishing the Agency.