Life in Kosovo Discusses Refugee Returns

The upcoming edition of BIRN’s Life in Kosovo TV show on March 23 will look at the return of refugees and displaced persons to the territory.


Large amounts of money have been spent on the returns process, which has engaged not only Kosovo’s government, but other local and international organisations as well.

Are people really returning in Kosovo? What are their expectations and what do they indeed find when theycome home? And who should be held responsible for securing the conditions for returns?

These are some of the points to be discussed during the debate between:

Nazmi Fejza, deputy minister for returns; Valdete Idrizi from the “Development of Communities” organisation in Mitrovica;
Hasim Uka, a returnee from the village Kashtanjeva, Shterpce municipality;
Dragana Gërciq, a returnee from Kosh village, Peja municipality; and
Nazmi Mikullovci, a Mitrovica local unable to access his property in the north part of the city.

Following the debate, BIRN will show a short documentary by Birol Urcan, which features the return of the Uka and Gercic families to their homes.

Life in Kosovo will be broadcast at its regular prime time of 20:30.

Life in Kosovo Debates Visa Issues

On 9 March 2007, BIRN’s televised debate show will address the issue of visas and the numerous difficulties Kosovars have when seeking to travel abroad.

Life in Kosovo will look at the extent to which citizens are informed about procedures for obtaining visas, what diplomatic offices in Pristina offer, whether the territory is to be covered by visa liberalisation policies and who should negotiate for concessions in this regard.

Panelists in the debate will include: Yvana Enzler, head of the Swiss liaison office in Pristina;
Bernd Kuebart, deputy chief of the German office in Pristina;
Nikolay Kolev, head of the Bulgarian office in Pristina; Dardan Velija, advisor to the Kosovo Prime Minister;
Fatmir Curri, of the Kosovo Open Society Foundation and
Fehmi Hajra from the New European Federalists organisation, JEF.

This edition of Life in Kosovo will be broadcast in its regular prime time slot of 20.30 on RTK.

Life in Kosovo Debates Electricity

The Life in Kosovo show this Friday, 02 March, will discuss electricity in Kosovo, with a particular focus on the new power plant Thermo Central Kosova.

The plant, which has been commissioned by the ministry of energy and mines, has provoked a range of reactions from civil society, environmentalists and some opposition parties.

Life in Kosovo will feature supporters and opponents of project, in what is expected to be a lively debate.

The panelists in the studio will be: Agron Dida, deputy minister for energy and mines; Ardian Gjini, minister of environment and spatial planning; Bajrush Xhemajli, from Democratic Party of
Kosovo’s department of energy; Luan Shllaku, representative of civil society and an expert on environmental issues; Daut Maloku, Green Party of Kosovo; and Mehmet Krasniqi, member of the Kastriot municipal assembly.

The debate will be broadcast at its regular prime time slot, 20:30.

Life in Kosovo debates wave of plagiarism

BIRN’s Life in Kosovo television show, in its 23 February edition, will look at how key texts published by Kosovo academics and scholars plagiarise others’ work.

With recent cases exposing how medical professors published books passing off the work of foreign authors as their own, the debate will also address more general concerns about the quality of studies at the Public University of Pristina.

Panelists include: Avdullah Hoti, advisor to the Minister of Education and economics professor; Dr Ejup Pllana, head of the Department for Internal Medicine; Enver Hoxhaj, head of the Parliamentary Commission for Education and Pristina university professor; Adem Beha, member of the Political Science Students’ Association; Gazmend Gashi, medical student; and Arben Hyseni, journalist from the daily newspaper “Express”.

The debate will be broadcast in its regular prime time slot, 20:30.

Life in Kosovo Discusses Latest Protest

This week’s show on Friday, February 16, features analysis and comment on developments since the February 10 protest in Pristina.

Two people died and over 80 were injured in the violent protest against the UN proposal for Kosovo’s final status organised by the Vetevendosje (self-determination) movement.

The show starts with exclusive footage of the protest followed by comment from panelists in the studio.
The discussion panel will consist of:

Naim Maloku, head of the security commission in the Kosovo assembly Ulpiana Lama, spokesman of the Kosovo government and political advisor to the prime minister; Visar Ymeri, Vetëvendosje movement activist; Veton Elshani, spokesman of the Kosovo Police Service, KPS; Nuredin Ibishi, former KPS officer and expert on policy issues; Berat Buxhala, editor-in-chief of the Kosovar daily newspaper Express;

Life in Kosovo will be broadcast at its regular prime time of 20:30.

BIRN Kosovo journalaists appear widely in international media

BIRN Kosovo staff made a number of regional and international media appearances in the last few weeks, in conjunction with the coming out of the plan for Kosovo’s final status.

BIRN Kosovo Country Director Jeta Xharra was interviewed by the Polish daily newspaper Republika, the France 24 news channel and the Aljazeera TV Station about the situation in Kosovo before UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposal for Kosovo’s final status and possible reactions to it.

After the introduction of the plan, Xharra commented on reactions to the plan in an interview for Austrian national radio FM4.

BIRN Kosovo Editor Krenar Gashi was interviewed about Kosovo’s final status by the online publication Bulgarian Post. In addition, French daily newspaper La Croix questioned Gashi on the Kosovo media’s coverage of the Serbian elections.

Life in Kosovo on Final Status Plan

BIRN Kosovo will have a live debate tonight, February 2, at 20:30 on UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo, which will be revealed in Pristina at 16:00.

BIRN Kosovo will have a live debate tonight, February 2, at 20:30 on UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo, which will be revealed in Pristina at 16:00.

The panelists in the studio will be.

– Nexhmedin Spahiu, an analyst from Mitrovica
– Adrian Gjini, a minister and member of the final status negotiating team
– Arlinda Desku, an independent journalist
– Dardan Gashi, a member of final status negotiating team

During the programme, BIRN will also broadcast an interview with Hashim Thaci, head of opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, and member of the Team of Unity, the decision-making body mandated to deal with the UN proposal.

The programme will be the first televised analysis of the plan which will pave the way for the resolution of Kosovo’s political status in the coming months.

According to a section of the draft proposal obtained by BIRN, the UN proposal will bring Kosovo “de facto” independence, though the word does not figure explicitly in the document.

Internationally-mediated negotiations on Kosovo’s final status started in Vienna, in January 2006. After several months of meetings, Kosovo’s and Serbia’s negotiating teams failed to achieve an agreement, refusing to budge from the original negotiating positions, the former demanding full independence and the latter autonomy.

With the negotiating process close to collapse, the international community decided to have Ahtisaari draw up a proposal for Kosovo’s final political status, which is due to be presented in Belgrade and Pristina today.

Life in Kosovo Focus on Returnees

RTK, Pristina
The BIRN-organised TV show Life in Kosovo on January 26 will turn its attentions on the people who have returned to live in Kosovo.

This programme aims to raise public awareness about issues related to the return and reintegration process, looking primarily at groups of ethnic minorities living in Kosovo.

The programme will include field interviews with some families that returned to live in their rebuilt homes, key stakeholders who have been involved in the process of return, representatives of local government, international organisations and also religious representatives.

The edition of the programme will be broadcast at 20:30 on Kosovo’s public television channel, RTK.

Life in Kosovo Documentary on Gender Issues

The BIRN-organised televised show Life in Kosovo will present “Whose Security?”, a documentary exploring how women in Kosovo have been affected by war and how they now perceive the notion of peace and security in their day-to-day lives.

The documentary includes interviews with Kosovo’s prime minister, head of UN Mission in Kosovo, and many female activists, politicians and citizens, attempting to reveal how the successful integration of women’s perspectives and participation into democratic society is an uphill struggle, and how international resolutions are much easier to ratify than to enforce.

BIRN Debates Big Hit with Viewers

In its special New Year’s edition, Koha Ditore, Kosovo’s daily newspaper, ran a short review of the Life in Kosovo debates, saying the show is the “most watched TV programme in Kosovo after the Latin-American soap-operas”.

“Life in Kosovo” is a weekly TV debate show that is organised by BIRN Kosovo and broadcast on RTK, Kosovo’s public TV station.

The programme deals with current political and social affairs and was launched in October 2005 as a bi-weekly show. Since September 2006, it’s gone weekly and is broadcast on prime time, every Friday evening from 20:30 hours.