MESP decision making challenges protection of cultural heritage in Prizren

The ongoing demand of EC Ma Ndryshe for the unification of local and central law enforcement and urban law enforcement in Prizren continues to be ignored by the relevant authorities. The practice of inter-institutional coordination, as well as the unification of procedures between them, is creating unfavorable conditions for the preservation and protection of cultural heritage values in this city.

The Municipality of Prizren on February 13, 2020 has published information to the public about the project of a residential and business complex in the former factory of Farmakos where the "Austrian Building" was burnt down just days earlier. The Municipality has announced that after the MCYS decision, DUPH on 22.11.2019 rejected the investor's request for construction of a multi-storey building, while MESP on 10.01.2020 made a decision to declare the decision of the Directorate illegal. "The burning of the building at the location where this project is foreseen does not change the attitude of the Municipality and will then look at the legal possibilities to challenge the decision of MESP," reads the Municipality notice. (The full announcement of the Municipality can be read at:

A similar practice occurred at the request of another investor for the construction of a collective housing facility on the "Rifat Krasniqi" street in Prizren.

RCCH in Prizren on 01.10.2019 issued a decision rejecting the request for construction of this facility, because:

-The parcels for which the request was submitted are located in the Second Protection Zone, according to the Prizren General Plan, where the altitude allowed for this area is P + 2;

- The parcels in question are located on the northern border of the Historic Center of Prizren, respectively within 100 meters radius;

-In this area there are some old traditional houses with P + 0 and P + 1 floors;

-Construction of a collective building with 2B + S + P + 3 + AT floor would adversely affect the urban structure of the neighborhood and degrade the environmental values of this area.

Based on this decision, DUSP on 09.10.2019 issued the ruling on rejection of the investor's request. However, MESP on 24.10.2019 issued a decision to approve the investor's appeal as grounded and annulled the DUSH ruling and the decision of the RCCH, forcing the DUSP to act upon the investor's request in accordance with the provisions of Law on Construction. Thereafter, DUSP on 24.01.2020 makes a decision to issue a construction permit for a collective residential building.

EC Ma Ndryshe recalls that it has repeatedly made public calls for local and central level institutions to unify law enforcement and urban planning actions in Prizren. (The latest reaction to this issue can be read at: , 17,579 # .XkZYavR7mM8)

Therefore, EC again calls on the Municipality of Prizren, as well as the relevant ministries in the Government of Kosovo, to take initiatives to co-ordinate actions with a view to enforcing urban planning and implementing all legislation in force, without mentioning a single law. Both levels of government should make efforts to respect the legislation as a whole, to unify procedures and to better coordinate, in order to preserve the values of cultural heritage and the public interest in Prizren.