A TRANSATLANTIC INITIATIVE TO CONCLUDE THE KOSOVO-SERBIA CONFLICT
The Council for Inclusive Governance (CIG) facilitated a series of discussions in 2020 and 2021 for a group of American and European former senior diplomats and academics who served in the Balkans or were involved in Balkan affairs to brainstorm ideas and develop recommendations for a new transatlantic initiative aiming to conclude the decades-long conflict between Kosovo and Serbia. The recommendations are based either on consensus or broad agreement. They do not necessarily reflect the views of individual participants, CIG, or the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which supported the initiative.
The status quo is a potential threat to security. The US and the EU should consider taking a bold initiative to resolve it. The UN-mandated and EU-sponsored Brussels Dialogue did bring considerable normalcy to the Serbia-Kosovo relations, but it did not conclude the conflict. A new transatlantic initiative should address the root causes of the dispute, including the status of Kosovo, and bring it to an end through a formal agreement.
The report accessible below summarizes the discussions and lists the policy recommendations. It is prepared by CIG and CIG takes full responsibility for its content.
The paper provides a way forward on how all involved—Kosovo, Serbia, the EU, and the US—can get engaged in the process more efficiently and more successfully. It focuses first on how Brussels and Washington can better align their approaches. The paper does not prejudge the nature of the comprehensive agreement to be agreed upon by Belgrade and Pristina at the conclusion of their dialogue. The participants, however, do not see a lasting and stable outcome without a full mutual recognition by the parties.