Comment 13 Nov 17

The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is Just ‘Lose-Lose’

Both countries, and both peoples, stand to lose out in the long term from a ‘dialogue’ that has never advanced beyond leaders shaking hands and photo opportunities in Brussels.

Haki Abazi
BIRN
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Photo: Twitter/Federica Mogherini.

In the international school of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations are approached from a “win-win” theory.

However, despite the terrible wars and conflicts that the Balkans have experienced, the EU has not learned any such lessons about or from the region.

When one says negotiation and dialogue, in the Balkans what that usually means is talk and travels – no actual work. At best, it is something that the local Balkan elites use as an excuse to buy time, under the excuse that they are working on an issue while their thugs back home get richer and citizens suffer even more.

And when one says “win-win”, in the Balkans the phrase means – as the Kosovo and Serbian Presidents Hashim Thaci and Aleksandar Vucic have shown often during the EU-led talks on normalizing relations – staying in each other’s throats in the eyes of the public while taking smiling pictures in Brussels.  

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