Kosovo’s Privatisation Agency. Photo: BIRN/Urim Krasniqi

Kosovo Claims Victory Over Yugoslav-era Disputed Enterprise in Montenegro

Kosovo’s Privatisation Agency said on Thursday it has retaken control of a disputed former socially-owned enterprise's assets in Montenegro which were recently sold by Serbian authorities.

Kosovo’s Privatisation Agency, PAK, has announced it has won a case in Montenegro and returned the assets of a socially-owned enterprise to its administration.

On Thursday, PAK said it had submitted a complaint to Montenegro’s Ministry for Planning, Urbanisation and Property challenging a decision by Podgorica’s cadastral directorate, which gave ownership of the disputed assets to the persons who claimed to have bought them from a Serbian state agency.

“On November 29, PAK received the verdict from the second administrative instance in Podgorica which approves our complaint, annulling the decision of Podgorica’s Cadastral Directorate, which registered these assets under the name of natural persons in Podgorica after they were illegally sold by Serbia’s Liquidation and Bankruptcy Unit,” the PAK press release said.

“As a result, eight assets have been returned to ‘KBI Kosova-Export Industria e Mishit Fushe Kosove’ enterprise,” it added.

BIRN reported on this case in August this year.

Kosovo authorities are fighting an uphill battle claiming Yugoslav-era properties abroad because of a lack of documents due to a decade of repressive rule over Kosovo by Serbia, which abolished Kosovo’s autonomy and subsequently changed the status of many of Kosovo’s socially-owned enterprises.

Last week, Montenegrin media reported that a court of in the Montenegrin town of Kotor had rejected a lawsuit filed by Kosovo authorities demanding recognition of ownership over the former children’s resort in Rafailovici.

According to the PAK, following the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation, 167 properties of 45 former socially-owned enterprises of Kosovo remain in the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.

Until now, the PAK managed to suspend the sale of three properties in Montenegro.

In the Yugoslav communist era, socially-owned enterprises were created by the Law on Enterprises and the Law on Associated Labour of Yugoslavia.

Formally, Kosovo has no control over the assets of its former socially-owned enterprises outside its borders. But in three cases, courts in Montenegro have recognized the PAK as the legal owner of their properties.

The assets of Kosovo’s socially owned enterprises in Montenegro are being managed by the Real Estate Enterprise Unit in Podgorica and by enterprises based in Serbia.

01/12/2023 - 00:42

01 December 2023 - 00:42

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