Are Belgrade’s local elections an end in itself: A view towards the dynamic plan in extending/diminishing hopes for an Ahtisaari-based authority in the northern Kosovo

March 10, 2012

Having gone through an in-depth Dialogue facilitated by the European Union (hereinafter: EU), both Kosovo and Serbia had faced difficulties in reaching consensus in numerous politically sensitive issues. Though the pressure of the EU upon the parties has increased constantly, the Dialogue has continued to pass its ‘border’ between ‘technical’ to ‘political’ dimensions. The entire concept of Dialogue, however, was lately concentrated in saving the pro-European government in Belgrade from potential turn over, giving Kosovo a little more than a promised visa liberalization process. Under an increased pressure from both the EU and the United States, Kosovo and Serbia agreed on the 24th of February on the regional representation formula, with Kosovo assenting that it be represented via an asterisk referring to the UNSC Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence. The agreement on regional representation, that was viewed by the EU as the successful model for both Kosovo and Serbia to bypass their EU integration pitfalls, had faced huge domestic opposition in Kosovo: opposition political parties and the public hugely contested the legitimacy of an agreement that leads to Kosovo accepting an uncommon asterisk for a state proclaimed as independent, whereas the international community argued that this seemed the only realistic way to enable Kosovo’s presence at the regional and EU level meetings.

Policy Notes

Are Belgrade’s local elections an end in itself: A view towards the dynamic plan in extending/diminishing hopes for an Ahtisaari-based authority in the northern Kosovo

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