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    • Serbia and Kosovo dialogue discussed in Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava

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    • Date: 10 April 2014
      Aspects of the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue one year after the Brussels Agreement were discussed in a series of public debates held in Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava between 8th and 10th April 2014.

      Key question discussed during debates was: „Has a point of “no return” been reached in relations between Belgrade and Pristina“. Member of the BCSP Executive Board Filip Ejdus expressed optimistic view on Brussels agreement.

      „The Brussels agreement is historic, not just for Serbia and Kosovo but the whole western Balkans, hopefully ending the cycle of violence and opening the door for us to join the euro-Atlantic community“, said Filip Ejdus.

      Other panelists were Director of the Democracy for Development Institute Leon Malazogu, Director of Central European Policy Institute Milan Nič and Senior Research Fellow at the Polish Institute for International Affairs Tomasz Zornaczuk.

      During the discussion it was said that one year after signing the Brussels Agreement (19th April 2013), relations between Serbia and Kosovo are still dominated by mutual distrust and uncertainty. As participants concluded, this is the result of the ambiguous text of the deal facilitated by the EU, which was easier to negotiate than it is to implement. That is why the benefits of the agreement, such as the symbolic breakthrough in the Serbian-Kosovo relations or the removal of the Kosovo issue from the daily Serbian political context, are being offset by many challenges. As the most significant ones, participants identified the indefinite status of Northern Kosovo, a lack of real political relations between Pristina and Belgrade and many open technical issues.  Moreover, participants noted that the internal developments in both Serbia and Kosovo, mostly due to the parliamentary elections in Serbia in March 2014 and the upcoming elections in Kosovo to be held in fall 2014, continue to keep the region in flux and uncertainty.

      Despite these problems, Milan Nič is convinced that the Brussels agreement is a big step forward.

      „The Brussels agreement is what Dayton was for Bosnia - the beginning of a process which may be the key to everything else. This will stay with us as a difficult democratic process for years to come“, said Nič.

      During discussions panelists presented their joint policy paper "Integration or Isolation? Northern Kosovo in 2014 Electoral Limbo".

      Panel discussions were organized as part of the project „Visegrad Support for Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo“. This project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund. Partners on the project are The Central European Policy Institute(CEPI), the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Democracy for Development (D4D), Europeum - Institute for European Policy, the Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM) and the Hungarian Institute for International Affairs (HIIA).
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