EU Calls on Serbia, Kosovo to Advance Normalization Efforts

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    The Facts

    • EU executive president Ursula von der Leyen traveled to Belgrade and urged both Serbia and Kosovo to intensify their efforts to normalize their relations if the two Balkan countries seek accession to the EU.

    • Von der Leyen met with Serbian Pres. Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade on Tuesday a day after she asked Serbia to “deliver on de facto recognition of Kosovo.” Clarifying her statement, von der Leyen said the EU expects Serbia and Kosovo to respect the agreements they made earlier this year in Macedonia to normalize their bilateral relations.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's in the best interest of Belgrade and Pristina to adhere to previous commitments and quickly normalize relations. While it seems like Serbia is willing to compromise on recognition of Kosovan documents and license plates, Pristina is unwilling to grant autonomy to the ethnic Serbs who form a majority in Kosovo’s northern region. The two sides must come together to avoid armed conflict and unlock billions of euros in investment.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Serbia and the EU are trying to bully the smaller Kosovo into accepting an unfair agreement. While Serbia continues to deny the existence of Kosovo as an independent nation, ethnic Serbs living in northern Kosovo enjoy all the liberties and rights of any other citizen. There's no reason to create an "Association of Serbian Municipalities," and Serbia is just trying to take back territory from Kosovo and increase its influence. Kosovo will not be threatened by the EU and Serbia.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 4% chance that there will be a military conflict between Serbia and Kosovo before Jan. 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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