Doris Pack is member of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) bloc at the EU parliament. She is also part of the parliament's delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
SETimes correspondent Muhamet Brajshori spoke with Pack about the key issues concerning the region.
SETimes: How do you see the developments in northern Kosovo?
Doris Pack: As everybody should see it: as a step backwards and neither helpful for the population living there nor in the interest of Serbia, which is expecting to get candidate status from the EU.
I feel ashamed to see the wall and the barricades put up by criminals. Normal people are asking for a better life, free movement and good education for their kids, and are not struggling against EULEX and KFOR.
SETimes: The EU will decide on Serbia's candidate status on December 9th. What do you expect from the EU meeting and what will the position of Germany be?
Pack: I am not in the German government, I am a European parliamentarian elected in Germany. You should wait and see or ask the Berlin government on its decision. There is a possibility that Serbia will get the candidate status, but I can only speculate.
SETimes: Have Serbia and Kosovo made enough progress during the dialogue and how should it continue?
Pack: No, they did not reach satisfying results yet. The agreement they reached last summer was not implemented and was even answered by the aggression in the north.
SETimes: Some argue that partition of Kosovo should be an option. Even [former Stability Pact co-ordinator] Erhard Busek suggested this recently. What is your position?
Pack: I do not agree that this would be a solution; changing the border will be a start of a domino reaction in the neighbourhood, as everybody should know. The Martti Ahtisaari plan was a successful basis for the Serbs living in Kosovo. Why should the north be treated different than the south? Are the Serbs below the Ibar River different from the ones in the north? Should the international community reward the criminals in the north for their irrational and dangerous behaviour over the last years?
SETimes: Is Germany still asking for the removal of parallel structures from northern Kosovo?
Pack: Everybody in the EU is asking for the removal of the parallel structures, because they are the reason which allows the Serbs in the north to behave as they do, counting always on the support of Serbia.
SETimes: What should politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina do – a country still without a government -- to bring it closer to the EU?
Pack: They should work as people which have been elected to run the country seriously, agreeing inter alia to form democratic authorities such as a government. They should all be aware that BiH can enter the EU only as a state, and therefore it should function as such. The constitution must be changed in light of the Finci case. Considering the time the cantons needed to form their governments should make them all think about a more functional structure of the FBiH entity.
SETimes: Is there hope the Albanian political crisis is at an end now that the Socialists and Democrats agreed to initiate reforms?
Pack: As far as I have heard, the opposition is back to work and votes in parliament. It gives us hope that political life will be normalized and the common interest will run the political scene more than hatred and aggressive speeches.
SETimes: What does the EU expect from the countries in the region next year?
Pack: The countries in the region can count on our help in the EU accession financially as well as with manpower. But we expect the politicians in different countries in the region to do their utmost to fulfil their duties, to make the needed reforms in justice, administration, energy, etc.
They must fight against corruption and organised crime. They should pay respect to the Copenhagen criteria which are the basic standards of the enlargement of the EU.
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