On Friday, the Council of the EU has appointed Miroslav Lajčák as EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues.
He will take up his duties immediately, with an initial mandate of 12 months.
In a press release, the Council clarified that the tasks of Lajčá will be to achieve comprehensive normalization of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo, improve neighborly relations and reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and improve effectiveness of EU action in the region.
Lajčak was Slovakia’s foreign minister (2012-2020), President of the UN General Assembly (2017-2018), and EU’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (20017-2009). He was proposed for the position by EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell, whose work Lajčák will be supporting.
His candidacy for the post was repeatedly criticized by Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi and some experts. Thaçi slammed both Borrell and Lajčák for coming from countries that do not recognize Kosovo (Spain and Slovakia), hence being unreliable to mediate an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. In addition, Thaçi accused Lajčák of stopping Slovakia to recognize Kosovo and voting against the country’s seat in UNESCO during the time he was foreign minister. Kosovo’s president favors a deal mediated by the US administration instead of EU.