EU holds mediation talks with Kosovo and Serbia to accelerate Balkan accession prospects

EU holds mediation talks with Kosovo and Serbia to accelerate Balkan accession prospects

Diplomatic relations have been absent since a brutal conflict two decades ago and Kosovo’s subsequent declaration of independence.

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Photo: European Commission/EEAS

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will meet his Kosovan counterpart, Hashim Thaci, in Brussels today for EU-moderated talks on mending the broken relationship between the two Balkan neighbours.

Vucic and Thaci met last month in the attempt to establish diplomatic relations, which have been absent since a brutal conflict two decades ago and Kosovo’s subsequent declaration of independence—which is not recognised by Serbia nor Russia.

In question is Serbia’s accession to the EU, currently slated for 2025. Serbia is among six Balkan countries seeking EU membership but—because it must officially recognise Kosovo as state and settle border disputes before being welcomed into the bloc—has one of the most complicated paths to the Union. In order to achieve success, today’s negotiations must involve concessions that both Serbia and Russia can get behind.  Any compromise thus remains highly unlikely, as Russia’s refusal towards Kosovo’s independence remains unchanged.

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