Florian Bieber, professor at the University of Graz, said at a conference “Global actors in the Western Balkans” that border changes as a solution to the problem between Pristina and Belgrade is both unrealistic and undesirable. “Change of borders is not a realistic, nor a desirable solution, not only for Kosovo. But neither is the frozen conflict, because it would raise tensions, and we are reading about a new war every day, which is very unhealthy for a society,” Bieber said.
Bieber thinks that the problems in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina have arisen because of disagreements between the solution of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo, among which is the idea about demarcation, but also the disagreement between great powers about the issue.
“The question is whether the EU is capable of returning the process on its path. EU has lost control over the process. A new approach is needed, as well as the new idea on how to lead a dialogue until the end, because the current approach has failed”, said Bieber.
In his opinion, the step-by-step process of dialogue every few months is unsuccessful.
“Meeting in Brussels every few months do not lead to a result. A serious conference and a serious approach is needed, so that other powers are included in it. It is impossible to solve the problem just from the position of the EC, it is necessary to include EU members as well”, said Bieber.
It has already been apparent that the negotiations in the region are only successful if there is a cooperation between the EU and the US.
“It is hard to reach a result just with the help of EU. Members of the Union, as well as United States, informally, must be involved”, said Bieber.
According to him, the participation of Americans is needed, but in some informal capacity, because if it was formal, some other centres of power, such as Moscow, could also demand to participate.
“I do not think Russia would be constructive in that process,” Bieber said.
Nikolaos Tzifakis, professor at the University of the Peloponnese, said at the same conference that border changes would create new problems not only in Kosovo but in Bosnia and Herzegovina too. He also said it would be ideal that Kosovo Serbs across the whole territory, not only in the North, are guaranteed maximal protection. Tzifakis underlined that it would be the worst solution for Kosovo to remain a “grey zone”.