EU Membership as a ‘Carrot’: Serbia Ready for a Compromise on Kosovo

Written by | Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
@Eubulletin

Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic has proposed to end a conflict over Kosovo, a partially recognized state and a disputed territory in southeastern Europe that declared independence from Serbia in 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Currently, Kosovo has diplomatic recognition by 111 UN member states but Serbia refuses to recognize its independence as it regards it as the cradle of the Serbian nation and Orthodox Christian faith. However, Belgrade accepted legitimacy of Kosovo’s institutions with the 2013 Brussels Agreement since a normalization of relations with Pristina is a prerequisite for the country to proceed with the EU membership talks.

Mr. Dacic said that a solution to, what he called, Serbia’s centennial problem, would be a delimitation between Serbs and Albanians, the largest ethnic group in Kosovo. “Everyone needs a lasting solution of the Serbian-Albanian conflict, which can be reached only through an agreement … where everyone will win something and lose something,” he wrote. According to Mr. Dacic, Belgrade should seek autonomy for Serb enclaves in Kosovo, protection for Orthodox monasteries and financial compensation for what Serbia says is its property including industrial and energy facilities.

Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj, however, said that one needs to be cautious and not interpret the Serbian move as willingness to seek a compromise. “To Serbian FM Dacic: if internal dialogue isn’t about recognizing Kosovo’s independent statehood, it would be tantamount to failure. If Serbia continuously campaigns against Kosovo’s membership of international organizations, for what normalization are we talking about,” Mr. Hoxhaj tweeted.

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