Executive summary The municipal elections in Kosovo on 3 November will be a litmus test for the Brussels Agreement and for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, but also an omen for the EU’s ability to impose stability in its backyard. This paper aims to assist all stakeholders to the Brussels Agreement to work effectively toward a positive outcome in northern Kosovo (as differently as this outcome may be assessed by each of them), but also to prepare for contingencies. The voter turnout in the four Serbmajority northern municipalities is as important as their relations with Prishtina afterwards. While the northern politicians have embraced a passive boycott, several violent incidents herald a climate of active intimidation that could seriously reduce turnout or potentially halt the electoral process altogether. The EU seems willing to accept a fairly low turnout as a sufficient legal basis for the new municipal institutions. However, it is hard to see any serious contingency preparations a Plan B – to put things back on track in case of derailment. The paper looks at the challenges ahead and analyses the latest developments among the north Kosovo Serb political elite and the roles played by Belgrade and Prishtina. It ends with a consideration of four scenarios for the elections and their aftermath (summarised on the next page).