News archive - Belgrade and Pristina struck landmark deal in the EU-facilitated dialogue

The negotiations were concluded and the "First agreement of principles governing the normalisation of relations" was initialled by the two Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo* today. Belgrade and Pristina struck a landmark deal in the EU-facilitated dialogue.

The EU-mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina began in March 2011, with lower-level meetings taking place in Brussels. After a new Serbian government was formed in July 2012, the dialogue was raised to a higher level and the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci, met for the first time in October. At a meeting in December, Dačić and Thaci agreed to exchange liaison officers. Agreements have been reached on several issues – the free flow of people and goods, customs stamps, the acknowledgment of diplomas, integrated border management in Northern Kosovo, and the representation of Kosovo at regional conferences.

Positive reactions of satisfactions were shown at all highest EU levels.

  • The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, on the EU-facilitated dialogue congratulated for the determination over these months and stressed that the agreement reached is a step away from the past and, for both of them, a step closer to Europe.
  • The  EC President Barroso commented how this is a historic agreement, which must now be implemented quickly. He congratulated the leaders of both sides on their commitment, courage and vision. He furthermore shown confident that the agreement reached between the two sides will pave the way for the Council to take decisions on the next steps on the European path of Serbia and Kosovo. The people of Serbia and Kosovo want to move forward and make their European perspective a reality. This is crucial for the stability, security and prosperity of South Eastern Europe and of the European Union as a whole.
  • The reaction of the Commissioner Štefan Füle's to the results of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue was also positive. Mr Füle  underlined that both leaderships had to find compromises which by definition were never going to be ideal for either side. This consensual approach will help both countries on their paths towards the European Union. That's how the European Union works. We are not weaker because we try to reach consensus on the contrary we are much stronger because we are able to compromise.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Source: elaboration from Euractiv and EC press releases

Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • Kosovo*
  • Serbia
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Desiree Pecarz on April 19, 2013
Modified on April 24, 2013