The EU has long
its leverage in Kosovo
European Voice (Brussels)
26 April - 2 May 2007
May 2, 2007
The EU is facing risks over Kosovo: there
is a stalemate in the UN Security Council, a division within the EU and
not a slight sign of Serbia accepting Martti Ahtisaari's plan on cutting
Kosovo away from it.
The special UN Security Council mission to Kosovo will undoubtedly
see what has been largely downplayed in the "pinkish" reports
drafted by Pristina-based UN chiefs: only 5 percent of the 220,000 Serbs
expelled by Albanian extremists from Kosovo have returned, while Serbs
living in the shameful, heavy-guarded enclaves lack freedom of movement
and express mostly fear and mistrust.
This could also be a good eye-opener for Brussels. The EU has greatly
lost in leverage in the last several months: the Kosovo Albanians look
at Washington to lead a diplomatic "blitzkrieg" on their behalf,
while Serbia and the Kosovo Serbs have found in Moscow a reliable partner
ready to oppose an imposed secession.
One thing is now clear: there will be no UN Security Council resolution
based on the core of Ahtisaari's proposal because there is simply no agreement
on why Kosovo should be the first case in the 62-year long history of
the UN in which the body legitimizes a dismemberment of a member country.
Repeating the senseless mantra about Kosovo's "uniqueness" will
not fly, while warning about Kosovo Albanians going ballistic if they
do not get what they want only reinforces the argument that they are not
ready for self-governance let alone statehood.
Ahtisaari's proposal is unfortunately by no means a compromise, unless
your definition of a compromise involves a shameful trade off: human rights
Respect for international law, for recognized borders of Serbia and for
the need of the Kosovo Albanian majority to rule itself would get the
UNSC to adopt a resolution, the EU to stay united and take its responsibilities
in Kosovo. This will bring Pristina and Belgrade firmly on the road to
Otherwise, it is back to square one on the thin line.
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