From: Exit Staff
U.S. Undermined Kosovo-Serbia Brussels Dialogue, Says German Expert

The Trump administration has undermined the EU-facilitated dialogue, and it’s future will depend on the outcome of U.S. presidential elections, according to German expert Bodo Weber.

In his analysis, Weber argues that the European Union has only been able to engage the two parties in pre-negotiation so far, due to the interference of the U.S. envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell.

“Negotiations in Brussels have been undermined by Grenell and his colleagues in the Trump administration, through unilateral and completely selfish actions that led to the publicity [stunt] of September 4 in the White House,” Weber told Kosovo’s Koha newspaper on Sunday.

The political analyst maintains that the future of EU-led negotiations will depend on whether the next U.S. administration will take over the process or let the EU deal with it. He predicts that this will be clear around January 2021, and until then nothing substantial can be expected from negotiations.

He suggests that the EU should work with both parties in the meantime to force them into presenting their stance regarding all issues expected to be part of the final comprehensive agreement.

“This would be a big step forward as neither side has shown willingness to define and put on paper its platform over the past three years,” Weber said.

He added that the EU should also push Kosovo parties, opposition included, to come up with a plan to overcome differences related to negotiations and secure a two-thirds majority to pass a possible final agreement.

Bodo Weber is a Senior Associate of the Berlin-based Democratization Policy Council, concentrating on the Western Balkans.

EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak cancelled a meeting between parties scheduled for Monday, citing the coronavirus pandemic. However, the establishment of the Association of Serb Municipalities seems to be what hinders the dialogue at Brussels.