Serbia needs to prepare for ‘difficult decisions’ – EU leaders — Analysis
Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron want Belgrade towards a deal with Kosovo
French and German leaders addressed a joint note to Aleksandar Vucic in Serbia on Sunday, asking him to be prepared for his visit. “difficult decisions”Dialog between Belgrade to the provincia of Kosovo.
In their correspondence, released by Vucic’s press office, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the normalization of ties between Kosovo and Serbia is paramount for European and Balkan stability.
“We… urge you to show maximum determination and willingness to make difficult decisions that will promote the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia under the auspices of the EU,”They added that Belgrade’s recent dispute over license plates and identity documents had shown them the necessity of constructive action.
Macron and Scholz indicated also that they had dispatched their advisors Emmanuel Bonne, and Jens Pllotner, to assist Miroslav Lajcak (EU special representative for Western Balkans), in his diplomatic endeavors.
The two EU leaders submitted the letter after the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced last week that Serbia and Kosovo had reached an “agreement on freedom of movement.”Belgrade was the first to agree to the removal of entry and exit papers for Kosovo ID holders. Kosovo also agreed not to make the same changes for Serbian ID holders. Borrell spoke at the time.
Tensions remain high between Serbia and Kosovo. Although the sides reached a partial agreement, the Kosovo government demands that the Serbian-issued license plates and identification cards be replaced with those issued by Pristina.
On Wednesday, the Serbian Army began exercises close to the border between Kosovo and Serbia. They were scheduled to coincide with the original deadline for switching license plates. However, this was later extended to October 31.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008, and has been recognized by the US and its allies – but not by about half the world, including Belgrade, Russia, China, and several EU member countries. Vucic, who is trying to become a member of the EU, pursues a policy based on military neutrality.