From: Die Morina
Kosovo-Serbia Deal Takes Big Concessions, Says ICG Expert

The International Crises Group foresees that a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia will involve big concessions, including broad autonomy for Serb municipalities or land-swaps.

One of the authors of the ICG latest report on conflicts, Giuseppe Fama told Radio Free Europe (RFE/REL) that EU should not impose restrictions on the dialogue, and that the United States should play a role in convincing Kosovo to redesign the dialogue platform.

“There cannot be a scenario where Kosovo and Serbia will be able to fully meet their demands, so they will have to make concessions,” Fama told REL/RFE.

If Kosovo agrees to a broad autonomy for the Serb-majority municipalities, the same should apply to [Albanian-majority] Preshevo Valley in Serbia, he argued.

Fama suggests that it is crucial for the EU to push as much as possible towards a potential final solution. With the EU Foreign Affairs Council having approved the strategy on Belgrade-Prishtina talks, he adds, a new momentum exists now between the Europeans to push for a an eventual deal.

“It’s open to discussion whether this can be achieved soon,” Fama added.

Mutual recognition remains a difficult element of a potential deal because of the five EU countries not recognizing Kosovo. “Therefore, it will actually be a matter of diplomacy” Fama said.

According the latest report published by the International Crisis Group, the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia is seen as the greatest potential source of instability in the Balkans.

Despite the fact that Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and that “the dispute has no natural expiration date”, the report notes that there hope for a possible shared vision on how to end it.