Schwarz-Schilling: There is a real Danger that the Failure of the EU-led Negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo will result in open Conflict

November 10, 2019 11:00 AM

 

There is a real danger that the failure of the EU-led negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo will result in open conflict. This would have dire consequences for Bosnia-Herzegovina — particularly for the district of Brcko, geographically situated between Republika Srpska and Serbia, which would play a decisive role in any conflict, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, German minister for post and communications from 1982 to 1992 writes in his column for DW.

NATO will soon be admitting North Macedonia as the 30th member of the trans-Atlantic alliance. In doing so, it’s sending a very important signal — particularly now, after Europe dealt the country a completely unexpected blow.

The recent cancellation of the start of EU membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, vetoed by France, has had very negative consequences for the volatile Western Balkan region. Once again, it has become clear that Europe is failing to keep its promises, creating a real crisis of credibility.

While it’s true the EU’s demands concerning the rule of law in the candidate countries must be met, the European Commission has itself confirmed that North Macedonia and Albania have, in fact, started to implement EU requirements. Rejecting the next step toward EU membership is a major setback for both countries, and for the entire region.

It is therefore extremely important, at the very least, for NATO to have a stronger presence in the region. Albania and Montenegro are already NATO members, and North Macedonia is about to become one. Only Serbia does not aspire to membership — along with Republika Srpska, the predominantly Serb entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Republika Srpska is loyal to Serbia and opposes NATO membership, despite agreeing to it years ago when it officially co-signed Bosnia-Herzegovina’s application to join the alliance. This is now causing major problems and a political blockade in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 

 

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