Thursday

30th Mar 2017

Kosovo-Serbia talks fail to reach a deal, again

  • Kosovo is recognised by 90 countries but not neighbouring Serbia (Photo: Destination Europe)

Talks on resolving future Kosovo-Serbia relations and their EU accession prospects are set to go the wire after an extraordinary meeting in Brussels broke up without agreement on Wednesday (17 April).

The dialogue between Serbian PM Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci has come unstuck over the degree of autonomy to be awarded to ethnic Serb enclaves in Kosovo.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Dacic wants them to have their own parliament, courts and police force.

But Thaci, as well as the US and EU countries, believe the de facto partition of Kosovo could destabilise other post-Yugoslav countries with ethnic enclaves, such as Macedonia and Bosnia.

If there is no deal on normalising Kosovo-Serb relations before an EU foreign ministers' meeting on Monday, the ministers are unlikely to look favourably on granting Serbia in June a date for launching EU entry talks.

But Germany, which has taken the lead on EU policy on the Western Balkans, believes Kosovo should start talks on a pre-accession pact - a Stabilisation and Association Agreement - whatever the outcome.

In a statement released early Thursday morning, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who chairs the Kosovo-Serbia talks, said there are still "some hours left" to get a deal.

"I hope in that time, that both delegations will reflect on whether they can take the final steps necessary to finish this agreement and to move their people forward into the future," she noted.

Meanwhile, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, MEPs will on Thursday vote on a resolution on Kosovo's integration with the rest of Europe.

They will also adopt progress reports on Serbia and Montenegro.

Speaking with MEPs on Wednesday, EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule said that "a turning point" had been reached in the bloc's relationship with Serbia.

"It is time for Serbia and Kosovo to move on from the past and look ahead to a common European future," he added.

Opinion

Kosovo-Serbia: will they or won't they?

Both sides have much to lose if Kosovo-Serbia talks on 2 April go badly, but they can only go well if Serb leaders face up to the reality that Kosovo is gone.

Ashton clinches Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia is to get a date for EU entry talks, Kosovo is to get control over its north and EU foreign policy chief Ashton got kudos after a breakthrough in talks.

Poland snubbed twice in EU summit fiasco

[Updated] Poland tried and failed to block EU summit conclusions shortly after failing to block Tusk’s re-election as Council chief, prompting bitter accusations.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

News in Brief

  1. UK publishes 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace EU laws
  2. Scots share May's vision for Brexit deal, survey says
  3. Coalition talks leader expects Dutch government by summer
  4. EU commission allows ex-member Hill to join law firm
  5. Reuters: Greece and lenders move closer to deal
  6. Italy: Le Pen win would mean 'permanent political risk'
  7. Danish parliament misinformed on Nord Stream 1
  8. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  2. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  3. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  5. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  6. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  7. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  9. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  10. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  11. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy