The EU wants to see Serbian and Kosovo negotiators back at the bargaining table in Brussels, and EU candidate Serbia seems to have little choice in the matter.
As Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule told the Serb daily Politika, "The European Commission recommended that Serbia be granted [EU candidate] status without any additional requirements, expecting that Belgrade would continue the talks with Pristina and start implementing in good faith the agreements reached so far."
Serbian Secretary of State for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic says that he sees a solution only in negotiations, adding that if Kosovo is not ready, both the EU and the United States should intervene.
"We are ready for talks anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day, but only if we will be treated as an equal partner," North Mitrovica Mayor Krstomir Pantic told SETimes.
EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told SETimes that dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade should resolve practical problems on the ground, so that both sides can move towards eventual EU membership.
"If we are talking about territories, we believe that there shouldn't be any more changes of borders in the Western Balkans. Therefore, this is something that the EU stands on," Kocijancic said.
"It is for the Kosovo authorities to finalise [details of the strategy], but there are some elements that have to be there," Kocijancic said, without elaborating.
The Union has asked Kosovo to prepare a comprehensive strategy for the north, which Kosovo authorities responded to by establishing a co-ordination office for the north.
The office's latest report, provided to SETimes by its head, Ylber Hysa, includes information on Serbian sponsored institutions in the north. These so-called parallel structures are a large part of the problem.
The report notes that while Kosovo police operate in the north, they are not fully in charge. "It lacks a functioning court house, [resulting in] citizens who are confused between the feeling of political-ethnic loyalty and the need for a life of dignity, rule of law and economic welfare."
Organised crime remains a huge issue, as does financial hardship. The report highlights the need for economic development in the north as the way forward.
Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci says Pristina wants to do more than establish the rule of law in the north. It wants to make the area "attractive" for Serbs there, meaning assistance and support.
"Due to the situation there, for 12 years we have not been able to offer [the area] road infrastructure, schools, economic assistance, or other development such as in agriculture, which is something that makes us distant to them," Kuci told the Kosovo media.
He added that "removing" criminals and barricades are the first things to be done, without hurting innocent citizens.
Ivana Jovanovic in Belgrade contributed to this article.
- Provided by Southeast European Times
- Is Alarm About Seven Billion People Just Modern-day Eugenics?
- Seven Billion ... And Rising
- Seven Billion People: So Why Do Some Fear Population Decline?
- The World Is Finally Fighting Off the Infection of Neoliberalism
- Seoul Salvation
- Global Health: 'Contagion'
- Malaria: Tackling a Historic Foe
- France Planning Eurozone Breakaway
- Senior Banker Lucas Papademos Named New Greek Prime Minister
- Italian Debt Reaches Unsustainable Level
- The Perverse Side Effect of the Euro
- Europe's Crisis Is a Global Issue
- Europe, the International System and a Generational Shift
- Europe's Economic Measures Too Little Too Late
- Crisis Gratuitously Self-Inflicted
- Europe's Structural Reforms Are Serious
- Papandreou Survives Vote, Uncertain Coalition Pending
- Greece In Chaos as Papandreou Faces Confidence Vote
- On WWII Anniversary, Greeks Say 'No' Again
- Greek Workers and Pensioners: The Damage Is Done
- EU Candidate Status Rejection Means Less Money for Albania
- Albania-Kosovo Agreement Rekindles Old Suspicions
- EU Urges Kosovo to Plan New Strategy for North
- Turkey Ratifies Railway Agreement to Integrate with Balkan States
- Ankara Intimidating Academics, Restricting Free Speech
- Europe's Woes Make Their Way Across the Mediterranean
- Democracy in Revolution: the Mediterranean Moment
- Riots and Revolutions in the Digital Age
- When Do You Know You Have Crossed a Watershed?
- Global Financial Regulation: Goal Many Espouse But Can It Be Done?
- Forging a Lasting Peace
- Arab Spring: Fall Update
- Libya and Iraq: The Price of Success
- Libya and Tunisia Still Face Obstacles on the Road to Democracy
- Eurozone Needs Exit Rules
- Euro Zone Rescue: Deja Vu All Over Again
- Eurozone Rescue or Recession? Fallout of the October Package
- European Union Leaders Reach Deal on Greece, but Worries Remain
- EU Leaders Announce New Eurozone Rescue Deal
- Can Europe's Divided House Stand?
- Greece's Youth: 'I Have No Hope'
- Battle for the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Greeks
- Turkey: Is Quake Aftermath Widening Ankara-Kurdish Rift?
- Turkey's Never-Ending Kurdish Question
- Turkey's Earthquake Strikes at Poorest
Available at Amazon.com:
Copyright 2011, iHaveNet.com