| 4 December 2023, Monday |

EU lawmakers call on Kosovo, Serbia to normalize relations

The European Parliament announced in a statement, that it has adopted two separate reports on Kosovo and Serbia, calling on both countries to normalize their relations in order to proceed with EU integration.
The parliament stressed that the normalization of relations between the two countries should be “a priority and a precondition for the EU accession.”

The EU lawmakers urged the leaders of Kosovo and Belgrade to continue with the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue to “secure without delay a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations based on the principle of mutual recognition.”

According to the European Parliament, the EU should only advance accession negotiations with Serbia if the country aligns with EU sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine and implements rule of law reforms.

The EU lawmakers also “want the EU to reconsider the extent of its financial assistance to Serbia if support for anti-democratic politics continues,” and call on the EU executive body to ensure that EU funds are spent in Serbia “in line with the EU’s own strategic goals and interests.”

The Kosovo report hails the reforms against corruption and organized crime, but ties the accession process to “progress on the rule of law, fundamental rights and improvements in the country’s legal order.”

Launched in 2011, the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue aims to find a mutually agreeable solution for disputes in the framework of a legally binding agreement.

Most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye, recognized Kosovo as a separate country after it declared independence from Serbia 15 years ago. Serbia, however, continues to regard it as its territory.

  • Anadolu Agency