Dialogue for mutual recognition will succeed when the EU joins the US in its Kosovo approach

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After the snap parliamentary elections of February 14, Kosovo has a brand new authorities going through the EU’s facilitated dialogue with Serbia for normalization of relations with mutual recognition as the important thing and solely end-goal.

The United States has acknowledged the independence of the Republic of Kosovo and has a transparent place on the dialogue: “A comprehensive normalization agreement with Serbia centered on mutual recognition as essential to Kosovo’s ability to reach its full potential and move forward on its EU accession path.” 

The European Union’s place on dialogue is imprecise, regardless that EU officers have harassed that normalization talks are elementary to their objective of each events turning into bloc members sooner or later. To reach that objective Kosovo has to work with facilitators of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, some from international locations that haven’t acknowledged Kosovo, and with whom Serbia has diplomatic relations.

The EU’s impartial place on the standing of Kosovo, with five-member states not recognizing the independence of Kosovo, and no deadline for an settlement to be reached, appears to be supporting the “status quo,” in step with public statements of among the international locations which are meddling within the democratic processes within the area. While the EU has a impartial place on Kosovo, it has a distinct relationship with Serbia, which is mirrored within the tempo of the accession course of for Serbia in comparison with Kosovo, which is almost in a impasse because of the concern of non-recognition. 

The Serbian “transactional” approach within the dialogue (partition, ethnic divisions, trade of individuals) shouldn’t be the way in which ahead. On the opposite, it can open a chapter of instability within the Western Balkans. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Serbia has dedicated what many think about crimes towards humanity, primarily towards the non-Serb residents in Kosovo. For doing so, NATO waged a struggle towards Belgrade and expelled the Serbs’ army, paramilitary, administration and established a world army and United Nations Interim Administrative presence in Kosovo that was designed to create situations for the implementation of the democratic will of its residents as remaining standing, which in coordination with the worldwide neighborhood culminated with Kosovo’s declaration of independence on February 17, 2008.  

Strangely, the place of 5 EU members, that they’ll move to acknowledge Kosovo solely after the settlement between Kosovo and Serbia, creates a dead-end place for the settlement. Waiting for Belgrade’s consent for the independence of Kosovo acknowledged by over 100 international locations is giving veto energy to Serbia for Kosovo’s EU integration and regional stability.

None of the 5 EU members, the so-called “non-recognizers” (Spain, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, and Greece) has any open concern with Kosovo. On the opposite, a few of these international locations have actively supported Kosovo. 

Immediately after the February 2008 declaration of independence, the 5 EU members cited worldwide regulation as an evidence for his or her hesitation and delay on recognition. Those arguments turned baseless after The International Court of Justice concluded on July 22, 2010, that Kosovo’s independence declaration had not violated any relevant norm of worldwide regulation.

The Republic of Kosovo is an unbiased state inside its present borders, acknowledged by over 100 international locations and lots of worldwide establishments. For me, as a signatory of the declaration of the independence of Kosovo, that is an irreversible and non-negotiable political actuality.

Therefore, I urge the 5 non-recognition EU members to acknowledge Kosovo, particularly Greece, which has been very constructive in its cooperation and help, wanting recognition. Recognition from all EU international locations will enhance democratic processes and strengthen regional stability.

There shouldn’t be any doubt relating to Kosovo’s constructive place on dialogue. But pressuring the Kosovar authorities to proceed partaking in a dialogue, whereas the EU holds to its one-sided impartial place, and that recognition from 5 EU international locations depends upon Belgrade’s will to achieve, or not, a complete normalization settlement centered on mutual recognition, is a useless finish. Kosovo shouldn’t be going to reverse its independence, nor will it settle for modifications to its constitutional order. 

It’s extensively recognized that Kosovo is dedicated to living in peace with its neighbors whereas recognizing and implementing the best degree of human and nationwide rights for all its residents. The greatest solution to seal sustainable neighborly relations and cement regional peace is for Serbia to simply accept that the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue needs to be concluded with a complete, legally binding settlement on normalization and mutual recognition throughout the present borders.