Sunday, April 27, 2008

The E.U.’s Double Game in the Balkans

by Srdja Trifkovic

STIn theory the European Union is horrified at the prospect of the Serbian Radical Party (Srpska radikalna stranka, SRS) becoming not only the strongest party in the country’s parliament—which it already is—but also the majority partner in a new ruling coalition after the general election on May 11. In practice, the EU officials in Brussels and in Kosovo are acting as if this is the outcome they earnestly desire.

The claim that it is possible for Serbia to continue her “process of European integrations” regardless of the status of Kosovo, or of the leading EU member-states’ position on this issue, is the pillar of the election campaign by the Democratic Party (Demokratska stranka, DS) of President Boris Tadic and his “pro-European” coalition. They claim that it is possible for Belgrade to conduct a dual-track policy, whereby the refusal of Serbia to accept Kosovo’s independence would not influence—and therefore would not hinder—the process of getting closer to EU.

That this claim is false is evident from the fact that all key EU countries except Spain have recognized Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. With the EU heavyweights, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, opening their embassies and trade missions in “the Republic of Kosovo,” it is unthinkable that they would accept Serbia as a fully-fledged member of the Union unless Belgrade first “normalizes relations with all its neighbors”—Eurospeak for accepting the finality of Kosovo’s independence and opening an embassy in Pristina.....Continued

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