Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Beyond Balkan War

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Beyond Balkan War

Article excerpt

The deal the European Union brokered between Serbia and Kosovo shows the good work it can do.

At a time of disillusionment about the state of the European Union, a diplomatic deal between Serbia and Kosovo highlights some of the more positive features of the institution that won last year's Nobel Peace Prize but fumbled the euro crisis. The tentative agreement signed last Friday not only shows that the European Union can perform well but also that it remains an attractive destination for countries that aspire to membership.

The conflict, which pitted Serbia against its former province of Kosovo, and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority against its ethnic Serbian minority, burst into war between NATO and Serbia in 1999 and remains a potential flash point. The compromise solution skillfully and patiently negotiated by the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, makes it possible for both countries to move forward economically and, not incidentally, pursue their bids for European Union membership. …

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