Sunday

25th Sep 2016

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.

Balkan leaders pledge to keep out migrants

Balkan leaders said in New York there would be no repetition of last year's mass influx of refugees, as the EU prepares to launch a new border force to keep people out.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  2. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  3. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  5. YouthProAktivEntrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
  6. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
  7. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeDon't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  8. Martens CentreFighting Terrorism: Do we have what it takes? 26 September, Brussels
  9. ACCAKaras Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union
  10. Centre Maurits Coppieters"I still believe we can change Europe" Said David Grosclaude
  11. World VisionThe Child Protection Index to be Launched in Brussels on 28 September 2016
  12. HuaweiDigital Transformation: Unleashing Europe’s Potential