Magazine article Europe-East

Western Balkans : Eu to Wait until 10 December before Deciding on Kosovo

Magazine article Europe-East

Western Balkans : Eu to Wait until 10 December before Deciding on Kosovo

Article excerpt

At the last meeting ahead of the 10 December deadline for direct talks between Kosovo and Serbia, EU foreign ministers agreed to support Wolfgang Ischinger, the EU representative to the troika mediators, "until the last moment" in his efforts to achieve a settlement on Kosovo's status. They failed, however, to achieve consensus on a potential strategy in the event that the Kosovo negotiations collapse and Pristina unilaterally declares independence after 10 December.

EU officials did not deny that, despite the urgent need for unity on Kosovo's future within the EU, member states are still divided into two camps. According to Jim Murphy, the UK's Minister for European Affairs, the vast majority of member states support recognising independence of the UN-administered Kosovo. Sweden, Spain, Romania, Cyprus, Greece and Slovakia are known to oppose any decision on Kosovo's status without the UN's blessing.

"There is a very big EU majority already for recognition [ ], but we haven't got to 27 yet," Jim Murphy told a news briefing after a meeting with his EU counterparts on 19 November in Brussels. He added that it is up to individual states to recognise another country. He suggested, however, that "in terms of managing this process, it's a much better outcome for everyone involved if there's maximum international unity".

EU ministers alsoafailed to decide on the potential legal bases for a decision on the deployment of the EU civilian mission to Kosovo. It is sill not clear if the EU would continue to seek the UN Security Council resolution to provide such bases or would take a decision without a new UN resolution. …

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