Home Page
news 29 May 13

‘Two Germanys Model’ Suggested for Kosovo

Veteran German diplomat says 1972 treaty between East and West Germany holds lessons for Kosovo and Serbia.

Bardh Shkreli BIRN Pristina

In 1972, during the height of the Cold War, East and West Germany signed the Grundlagenvertrag, or Basic Treaty.

The agreement established normal relations between two sovereign states and allowed both to join the UN without addressing issues of German national identity or unification.

Wolfgang Ischinger, a longtime German diplomat who represented the EU in the talks on Kosovo’s status in 2007, says the Basic Treaty could offer a model for Kosovo and Serbia.

“In the case of Germany in the 1970s, leaving aside the thorny issue of mutual recognition, the agreement helped to solve many practical issues of interest to people on both sides,” he said.

“It was not the perfect solution, but a good way to escape the blockade,” Ischinger, now Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, told Prishtina Insight recently.

Ischinger said he proposed the so-called Two Germanys Model during talks in Prishtina back in 2007.

The idea has continued to resurface during various talks between Kosovo and Serbia since 2011, but has yet to gain serious traction.

EU deal encouraging:

The diplomat described the recent EU-led agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on April 19 as a major step forward for the region.

“Sometimes it takes some time for rationality and the European spirit to defeat old-style nationalism and other backward ideas,” Ischinger said.

“This has now happened between Belgrade and Prishtina, and it will happen elsewhere, and will allow all countries of the Balkans to join a prosperous, modern, and globalizing EU.”

Under the recent EU-brokered agreement, Serbia agreed not to stand in the way of Kosovo’s eventual accession to the EU.

It did not mention other organisations, most notably the UN, however. Serbia, backed by Russia on the UN Security Council, has vowed to block Kosovo from joining the UN.

But Ischinger predicted that Kosovo would eventually become a UN member. “Sooner or later it will happen,” he said.

“The longer Serbia blocks the accession of Kosovo to the UN, the smaller will the reward that Serbia obtains in exchange,” he said.

“The smart leaders in Belgrade know this, and they have shown before how smart and mature they are,” he added.

Ischinger also said that Germany and other powerful states continue quietly to press the EU members that still have not recognised Kosovo’s independence, namely, Spain, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus.

But good diplomacy can take time. “We need to be patient,” Ischinger concluded.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

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.

kosovo-parliament-ratified-saa-11-02-2015 News 02 Nov 15 Kosovo Parliament Ratifies EU Association Agreement

MPs voted in favour of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union - seen as a first step towards membership - although opposition parties boycotted the vote. 

serbia-slams-kosovo-over-obstructing-brussels-agreement-10-29-2015 news 29 Oct 15 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Reneging on EU Deal

Serbia has accused Kosovo of violating the Brussels agreement by obstructing the formation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo.