Kosovo-Serbia ‘major deal’ expected soon

“We will have another meeting between the chief negotiators next week. Hopefully, we will be able to announce a very important agreement, and I am also hoping to bring the two leaders together in Brussels for the third summit before the summer holidays,” Lajčák said. [EPA-EFE/JAKUB KACZMARCZYK]

Kosovo and Serbia will sign a major deal as part of the EU-facilitated dialogue in the upcoming weeks, the EU Special Envoy to the Balkans, Miroslav Lajčák, hopes.

Since 2011, 33 agreements have been signed but implemented partially and selectively, and the critical matter of mutual recognition has never been on the table. Head negotiators have met on several occasions but have yet to settle on agenda matters for a formal meeting between Kosovo’s and Serbia’s leaders.

“We will have another meeting between the chief negotiators next week. Hopefully, we will be able to announce a very important agreement, and I am also hoping to bring the two leaders together in Brussels for the third summit before the summer holidays,” Lajčák said.

He also added that there had been progress between both parties despite appearances. According to Lajčák, negotiators have met multiple times and are discussing the implementation of several agreements that have already been signed but have remained on paper to date.

In May, Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had dinner with Lajcak in Berlin, after each party met separately with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The informal dinner was an attempt to revive the dialogue, which has remained frozen since July 2021.

Kosovo and its allies expect the dialogue to end in mutual recognition, which Serbia is vehemently against.

As recently as last week, Vucic confirmed that Serbia has no intention of recognising Kosovo’s independence. But mutual recognition is not the only issue on the table, which includes disagreements over missing persons, genocide and massacres against ethnic Albanians, and Belgrade’s wish to create a Serb-only municipal association.

Lajčák also spoke of the upcoming meetings in Brussels between European and Western Balkan leaders, with negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia being on the table.

“They have both met all criteria. And of course, they are ready. I must admit, quite sincerely, that the problem is with us, with the European Union since we have yet to reach consensus across the block on this.”

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe