Monday, October 17, 2011

Serbia’s EU Bid: It’s About Kosovo

While praising many aspects of Serbia’s development in a report released last Tuesday, the European Commission (EC) identified Kosovo as a key issue preventing the launch of membership talks.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, but Serbia considers the region a breakaway state. Belgrade runs “parallel structures” within Kosovo mostly inhabited by Serbs with governments and courts. The EU itself supports independence and provides support to Pristina government. Serbian president Boris Tadic facing election next year, can’t be seen as weak on EU membership or Kosovo, given the large Serbian population that still live there.

Genocides die hard. Given that the EU and the US have already blocked the idea of a partition. Would the respective governments agree to something of an amnesty program? A set period of time where Serbs within Kosovo will have to decide whether they belong to Kosovo or Serbia. After this period of time, Serbia would renounce all claims to territory within Kosovo are recognize the rights of an independent Kosovo.

 An independent Kosovo is really the bottom line, either Serbia accepts it, or else it never gets the acceptance in the EU that is clearly covets. While resolving Kosovo won’t lock up an EU invite, failure to do so may derail any hope of an invite.

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