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EU countries seek participation in dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina (RFE)

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Radio Free Europe learn that EU member states are demanding participation in the final phase of the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, which will lead to a legally binding agreement on a comprehensive normalization of relations.

RFE writes that according to European sources, member states have begun to demonstrate their disapproval of the lack of transparency in political dialogue, especially about the chapter dealing with the final agreement.

This was clearly pointed out last Friday, at a meeting where representatives of the EEAS (EU External Action Service) verbally informed the representatives of the EU member states about the dialogue process.

As the sources from this meeting confirmed to RFE, the member states were dissatisfied that they are completely excluded from this process. As diplomatic sources explain, the team in Brussels never consults member states, even those that are considered major or more important.

“Dialogue is entering a critical phase, and the member states are not involved in creation of a final agreement that will be historic. We are becoming suspicious why the team of Federica Mogherini keeps all this in great secrecy,” a diplomatic source told the RFE.

This interlocutor explained that the Mogherini team’s reports on the dialogue were mostly “superficial and with a positive tone” with the only confirmation that both sides (Belgrade and Pristina) were committed to reaching a comprehensive agreement.

However, there are many ambiguities for the member states of what will be covered by this agreement. Also, there are a number of questions about the quality of the whole process, especially about the content of the final agreement.

As explained to the RFE, those who in Brussels lead this dialogue “run after the calendar and not the essence”, because the achievement of the announced agreement between the two presidents will coincide with the end of the mandate of Frederica Mogherini, and the historic agreement between Kosovo and Serbia will serve her to leave behind a political legacy.

Bearing in mind the weight of this agreement, which remains to the EU, the RFE writes that the request is that the Mogherini team to ”open” towards the EU capitals and to include them in the creation of a final agreement that would lead to a comprehensive normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

One of the steps that are being discussed now is the idea to include this issue in the final conclusions at the June summit, where heads of state and government of the EU will discuss the situation in the Western Balkans.

A diplomatic source has confirmed to RFE that the work is in progress on one of the points of the final conclusions, in relation to the request on the EU countries to be “included” in the preparations for a comprehensive agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.

The responsible for Balkan from member states meet regularly these days to prepare a draft of the conclusions that will be formally adopted at a summit on 28 and 29 June.

If the conclusions also include the request for involvement of the member states in this process, then the team of Mogherini will be obliged to comply with the requirements of the countries of the European Union, which would give a formal character to this document, writes RFE.

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