Linking the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue to the EU Enlargement Strategy: which accession prospects are at stake

August 10, 2018

The present year of 2018 has proven vital for EU aspirations of the Western Balkans, namely Kosovo and Serbia. Both are included in the new enlargement strategy of the European Commission, yet under very different circumstances: Serbia is put forth as a privileged candidate and offered a concrete timeline, whereas Kosovo is once more offered an ambiguous integration path implicated by the five non-recognizers and the stalled political talks. In common is the Dialogue on the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo whose conclusion and legally-binding implementation is set as a precondition to accession.

The report discusses the Dialogue process within the framework of the EU enlargement perspective, with special focus on the need for concrete definitions and expectations moving forward so as to solve the enduring Kosovo problem. It looks to better inform policymakers on what is truly at stake in this Strategy that lacks harmonization among the candidates and how to ensure Kosovo and Serbia become equal participators in the EU. The report seeks to put forth policy recommendations to augment Kosovo’s leverage as an international player and hopeful EU candidate.

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