The Democratization Policy Council (DPC) in Berlin has sharply criticized the move by European Union High Representative Josep Borrell, who proposed Miroslav Lajcak as EU Special Representative for the Balkans.
In an interview with Klix.ba news portal, German expert and senior DPC associate Bodo Weber explained why he was sharply critical of this senior European official.
“First, there is a wrong political signal for the parties to the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations that the Special Representative, along with High Representative Borrell, comes from a country that has not recognized Kosovo.
Second, Lajcak, like virtually all senior EU politicians with experience in the Balkans, carries with him the burden of political failure in the region. The third reason is Mr. Lajcak’s personality. All this diminishes the credibility of Mr. Lajcak as a representative in the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, but also in the wider region, “Weber says.
Lajcak recently had an informal meeting with Milorad Dodik and Dragan Covic in Slovakia. This was immediately interpreted as attaching to one connection without a third party representative. Klix.ba news portal asked Weber to comment this situation.
“This episode confirms the difficulty of choosing Minister Lajcak – the meeting in Bratislava last October is only the last in a series of activities by Mr. Lajcak in the Western Balkans since he left the post of EU Special Representative / High Representative in BiH for failure to remain completely non-transparent. We do not know on whose behalf he performed, with what mission and goals – and in this case, why he invited the presidents of the largest Croatian and Serbian, but not the Bosniak parties in BiH, “Weber concluded.
Brussels analyst Toby Vogel, also a DPC member, said it would be a big mistake if Borrell appointed Lajcak to the post. “After all, these talks should result in a complete normalization of Serbia-Kosovo relations, which would actually mean recognizing Kosovo from Serbia. You have two top EU officials dealing with this matter, who come from a small minority of countries that did not recognize Kosovo,” says Vogel.
In addition, he claims, Lajcak’s appearance as a High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina casts doubt that he is the right person for the job.