The 2025 target date for Serbia’s European Union membership is not a reality, but it is not impossible either, Toby Vogel, a Brussels-based analyst told N1 Belgrade.
However, Vogel, Research Communications Officer from the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) added there were considerable obstacles to overcome and that Belgrade would have to make a significant concession, while Pristina would not but would benefit from the situation because there was no balance of power between the two.
“Serbia’s diplomats say they are ready to open five European Union’s negotiating chapters, and the EU says let’s open two,” he said, adding it was “a sign to Serbia that it has to take care of several political issues before speeding up the accession process. That’s Brussels’ warning that things are not good.”
Vogel believes that Serbia will have to “recognise Kosovo’s independence in some form as a pre-condition for the both to join the EU.”
“That’s the situation in which the EU tells Serbia – you have to accept some recognition (of Kosovo’s independence) because the reality is that it is not under your control any more, it’s not within Serbia’s sovereignty,” Vogel said.
He added it would be “a huge demand, nothing to compare with what Kosovo will have to do.”
Vogel said there was a hope that some agreement could come out from the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue, but that it was not a reality any more.
Speaking about the forthcoming EU Summit in London, Vogel said he believed nothing significant would happen concerning the EU enlargement or more strategic approach to the Western Balkans.