Brussels calls on Kosovo and Serbia to resume dialogue after border blockades
Brussels is looking “with great” at the tensions in the border region, said EU foreign chief Josep Borrell. “All causes can remain calm to prevent escalation. Now is the time to sit down around the negotiating table again.”
Since 2011, the EU has facilitated an often interrupted “open dialogue on all open issues”. This should lead to a binding agreement on the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The talks have been suspended since September 2020.
Local Serb residents blocked a number of border crossings under Kosovo in recent days seeking to force Serbs in the north of the country to apply for Kosovar license plates from Monday. Serbian soldiers lifted roadblocks over Kosovo on Monday, announcing the decision to postpone until September 1. Restricting free border traffic is not the way to solve the problems, according to the EU spokesperson. “All outstanding issues must be addressed through dialogue,” he said.
Kosovo became officially independent in 2008, after a war with Serbia in the late 1990s. The country is recognized by a large number of countries, including the Netherlands, but not by a number of EU countries. Kosovo has the status of candidate EU member state.
Serbia became a candidate country for EU membership in 2012 and has been negotiating to join the European Union since January 2014.