Serbia-Kosovo relations

Mirëdita Dobar Dan Festival in Belgrade: We Stuck our Foot in the Open Door

In early June 2016, the Mirëdita Dobar Dan Festival is taking place again, for the 3rd time in Belgrade. The Civic Initiative (Gradjanska Inicijativa) and the Policy Center, two civil society organizations from Serbia, in cooperation with Integra, a civil society organization from Kosovo, founded the festival in 2014.

My recent research on Serb-Albanian relations is focused on alternative forms of encounters between people from Kosovo and Serbia. For that purpose, I...

The challenge of moving from normalised dialogue to normalised relations

Five years since the beginning of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and three years since the signing of the ‘First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations’, the EU-facilitated dialogue’s record is mixed and contested. The April 2013 document establishing the parameters for including northern Kosovo within Prishtina’s legal framework, while increasing autonomy for the predominantly Serb municipalities (especially those in the north) and providing the opportunity for closer cooperation through the Association/Community of Serb majority municipalities, as well as the...

The Brussels Dialogue Should Seize the Fragile Momentum in the New Kosovo Government

The historic Brussels Agreement of 19 April 2013 between the governments of Serbia and Kosovo, which rounded up a series of technical agreements, set high hopes for the normalisation of relations between the two. Some of the agreements’ most ostensible and clearly defined points have been (partially) implemented – such as the establishment of freedom of movement and goods, the mutual recognition of diplomas and the exchange of civil registry documents, the integration of the Kosovo Police, and...

Mogherini and the Future of Rapprochement between Serbia and Kosovo: The EU’s New Role and How It Should Play Out

The implementation of the first Brussels Agreement (reached in April 2013) has considerably slowed down. Thusly, this questions the very purpose of the deal, whose aim has been to set relations between Serbia and Kosovo on a track towards normalization. The former EU Higher Representative, Lady Catherine Ashton, has brought together the prime ministers of the two countries almost two-dozen times, but this has hardly improved overall relations. The EU mediators have consciously used ambiguity to create a modicum of cooperation, and this momentum has certainly had a positive effect. An...

How Serbia Learned to Stop Worrying About Kosovo and Love the EU

When Serbia embarked on its democratic transition in October 2000, its main obstacles, on the way to liberal democracy, were the remnants of the former authoritarian regime and nationalist political forces coalesced around a strong anti-European discourse.  Serbia’s Europeanization process, until 2008, was slow and deeply contested as a result of deep symbolic divisions, an “identity divergence” vis-a-vis Europe (as Jelena Subotić termed it). When Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, Belgrade fiercely opposed it. Serbia was deeply divided between “pro-European forces,” who...

Serbia’s new old master

With all eyes on the referendum in Crimea, few fellow political buffs outside the Balkans have taken note of the general elections held in Serbia last Sunday. For good or for ill, Belgrade is not the epicentre of European politics that it was two decades ago. By the standards of days gone by, the snap polls called at the behest of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the largest faction in the outgoing parliament, were a rather dull affair. They largely fulfilled the SNS objective: SNS secured a...