The Prishtina-Belgrade Dialogue in the Context of the New EU Enlargement Strategy

May 4, 2018

The European Union is at a moment of its history when the Western Balkans are the main point in the agenda after consecutive hits to the core of the EU had sidetracked enlargement as a priority. As the Brexit dust settles in favor of the EU27, the peak of the refugee crisis quells and various Member-States vote in EU-friendly heads of state, the once-EU skepticism has turned into a renewed sentiment of hope and trust in the integration project. All eyes are back on the Western Balkans, as the Strategy confirmed. With assertive decisions regarding the EU joint strategy, what is lacking is assertiveness regarding the Belgrade-Prishtina Dialogue. This note seeks to provide a snapshot of the Dialogue in view of this period in EU history and the new enlargement strategy it prompted. This will be done by mapping the three relevant vantage points on concluding and implementing a legally-binding agreement on normalized relations: the EU level, the Serbia level and the Kosovo level. In providing a compact insight into the developing background of the Dialogue, the door is opened for improved understanding of its geostrategic importance, as well as the way forward for policymakers on all sides.

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