Home Page
news 26 Mar 13

Serbia Cannot Choose EU Over Kosovo, President Says

Tomislav Nikolic says Serbia cannot be asked to choose between its hopes of EU membership and its claim to the former province of Kosovo.

Tanjug, B92, BIRN Belgrade

"It is not possible to choose between Europe and Kosovo," Nikolic told Serbian broadcaster B92 on Monday, referring to frequent foreign demands that Belgrade make one or other issue the priority.

Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 but Serbia strongly opposes the move. In March 2011, an EU-mediated technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was launched aimed to normalize relations between the two countries, both of which aspire to EU membership.

"Normalisation" of relations with Kosovo is the EU's main precondition for Serbia as it continues to pursue EU membership. Serbia obtained EU candidate country status in March 2012 and is hoping to get a start date for membership talks in June.

But, according to Nikolic, Serbia has red lines that it will not cross, including recognizing Kosovo as an independent state. The second is allowing any armed force, other than its own, to act on the territory of the Serbian community.

In the meantime, Nikolic added, the Serbian community "should have the competencies to which local self-governments are legally entitled, so that the administration in Pristina cannot obstruct the exercise of these powers".

He was referring in this instance to the planned Association of Serbian Municipalities, which Serbia and Kosovo are due to agree on in Brussels on April 2.

Nikolic said that concrete plans concerning the exact powers of the Association will be announced by Thursday.

The President also added that the government had been exposed to great pressures to reach a deal on Kosovo, not mentioning them but presumably from abroad.

"All key officials in Serbia, particularly Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic were exposed to pressures by those wanting agreements on Kosovo signed as soon as possible," Nikolic said.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-analysts-perplexed-over-november-28th-nationalist-rally-11-27-2015-1 Analysis 28 Nov 15 Fears of Violence Dog Kosovo Opposition Rally

After opposition parties invited ‘all Albanians’ to join Saturday’s anti-government rally, the participation of football fan groups with a history of violence is raising safety concerns.

albanians-join-ranks-for-the-28-november-kosovo-rally-11-27-2015-1 News 27 Nov 15 Kosovo Opposition Urges All Albanians to Join Rally

The opposition in Kosovo is arranging free transport for supporters from Albania to join a major anti-government rally in Pristina against the agreements with Serbia and Montenegro.

kosovo-police-arrests-opposition-mp-11-18-2015 News 18 Nov 15 Kosovo MP Arrested Over Tear Gas Incident

Kosovo police arrested another opposition MP, Donika Kadaj-Bujupi, on Wednesday, for allegedly setting off tear gas in parliament.

with-teargas-and-pepper-spray-kosovo-opposition-clears-the-parliament-hall-11-17-2015 News 17 Nov 15 Kosovo Opposition Force MPs to Flee Parliament

Ruling party MPs were forced to adopt the 2016 budget while barricaded in an alternative hall, after opposition MPs again threw tear gas in the main chamber.

fr-sava-time-to-go-forward-and-start-dialogue-11-12-2015 Interview 13 Nov 15 Fr. Sava: Time to Go Forward and Start Dialogue

Sava Janjic, the Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery, says Serbian heritage needs to be settled within the Brussels dialogue before any further discussion on UNESCO status.

serbia-s-unesco-victory-has-exposed-its-true-face-11-12-2015 Comment 12 Nov 15 Serbia’s UNESCO ‘Victory’ Has Exposed its True Face

Belgrade’s brutal and offensive campaign against Kosovo’s membership bid, comparing it to ISIS, has reminded Europe and its own neighbours of how little the ‘new’ Serbia has changed.

belgrade-pristina-row-over-brussels-agreement-suspension-11-11-2015 News 11 Nov 15 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Mocking Brussels Deal

Serbia says decision of Kosovo court to suspend Brussels agreement is a threat to regional stability - while Kosovo opposition parties have hailed the decision as a partial victory.

kosovo-court-defers-serb-majority-governance-deal-11-10-2015 News 10 Nov 15 Kosovo Court Defers Serb-Majority Governance Deal

Prishtina’s Constitutional Court suspends implementation of key agreement on Serb-Majority municipality powers between Kosovo and Serbia.

hahn-msa-will-not-solve-kosovo-s-internal-problems-11-06-2015 News 06 Nov 15 Hahn: Kosovo Opposition Must Not Block Parliament

The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, told Kosovo MPs that 'obstructive violence' has no place in a democracy - and defended the country’s agreement with Serbia.

opposition-is-pulling-kosovo-into-the-unknown-11-05-2015 comment 06 Nov 15 Opposition is Pulling Kosovo Into the Unknown

The government may be arrogant but the opposition’s radical tactics risk polarising society to an unprecedented degree, as well as stirring ethnic tension.