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A TRANSATLANTIC INITIATIVE FOR KOSOVO-SERBIA NEGOTIATIONS

The Council for Inclusive Governance (CIG) in cooperation with and supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) organized its second zoom discussion on October 2, 2020 for a number of former senior U.S. and European diplomats on the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations. The participants suggested that all sides—Pristina, Belgrade, the US, and the EU—should work together to reach a final deal between the two countries. The speakers recommended that the US and the EU should agree on a set of negotiating principles and together lead the negotiation process.

A real peace deal is one that eliminates all existing and potential future threats to relations between Kosovo and Serbia and to peace in the region. To get to such an agreement, all parties—Serbia, Kosovo, US, and EU—need to make some adjustments to their policies. Serbia’s recognition is a key element to real peace. But Serbia is demanding something in return. Kosovo does not have anything to give to Serbia— though it could better accommodate its own Serb community—but EU does have a lot of things that Serbia wants and needs. Unlike the EU, the US does not have the ‘EU membership leverage,’ but it has a lot of political influence in Pristina and Belgrade.

This report below is based on the discussions held under the Chatham House Rule. It represents a collection of views of various participants and by no means a consensus. The participants took part in their personal capacities. CIG has tried to be accurate and balanced in summarizing the discussions, and asks for the understanding of the participants whose remarks may have not been fully captured in this brief report. The report does not necessarily reflect the views of individual participants, CIG or RBF.

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