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16 Feb 10

Galtung Suggests Cantonal Solution for Kosovo

Johan Galtung, the Swiss professor considered to be the founder of modern peace and conflict studies, said that Serbia, Kosovo and Albania will likely form a confederation within the next 50 years and suggested a cantonal solution to the Kosovo issue.
Bojana Barlovac
In an interview with daily Politika, the 79-year-old Norwegian mediator of some 40 conflicts around the world expressed his belief that such a scenario would come to pass in the next several decades.

“I believe that in the next 50 years there will be a formation of a confederation of Serbia, Kosovo and Albania in the Balkans, where everyone will be able to join the European Union, like the countries of the Benelux, or maybe there will be a group such as the association of the Nordic countries, where some are members of the Brussels family and some are not,” the daily quoted him as saying.

He said that next logical step for Serbia is to join the European Union. “Although Serbia is a European country anyway, it does not have the power and tradition of Switzerland to remain outside the European Union,” he pointed out.

Professor Galtung spent last week in Belgrade as guest of the Centre for Peace Studies at the Belgrade University Faculty of Political Science, and spoke about his book, "Peace by Peaceful Means."

When asked about resolving the Kosovo issue, Galtung said that the Swiss model of cantonisation would be the best solution. He added that if such a model were to be adopted, the majority of cantons would be Albanian, while at least three would be Serbian - one in the vicinity of Pristina and two in the north of Kosovo.

“In the Serb cantons, the administration would work completely towards the Serbian model. If the Serb cantons were to stay within the 'Republic of Kosovo' and start opening towards Serbia, it can be expected that the Albanian cantons would open towards Albania,” he said.

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