Tuesday, 19 February 2008

EU not united on Kosovo’s declaration of independence

Kosovo announced its independence from Serbia on 17 February. The EU is not unified on the recognition of Kosovo. Whereas the UK, France, Germany and Italy are willing to recognise Kosovo as an independent state, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia do not support Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. They fear that Kosovo’s independence could boost separatist movements in their countries.

The General and External Relations Council on 18 February agreed on a common EU reaction of Kosovo’s proclamation of independence. Nevertheless it was very difficult to achieve a consensus since not all Member States share the same views on Kosovo’s declaration of independence. Obviously, Spain wanted a low profile EU declaration and was cautious on the wording of the General and External Relations Council Conclusions.

According to the General and External Relations Council Conclusions on Kosovo, the EU foreign ministers took note that the Kosovo declaration of independence “commits Kosovo to the principles of democracy and equality of all its citizens, the protection of the Serb and other minorities, the protection of the cultural and religious heritage and international supervision.” Moreover, the Council has stressed “that Member States will decide, in accordance with national practice and international law, on their relations with Kosovo.” Hence, the Council's conclusions avoid the states from taking a position on the recognition of Kosovo. The EU has not yet got legal personality therefore it is not allowed yet to recognise an entity seeking statehood. Hence, the capacity for state recognition is a national competence.

The EU foreign ministers have noted the EU’s commitment to the stability of the Western Balkan Region. Moreover, they have confirmed the EU’s willingness to grant Kosovo financial and administrative support mainly through the EU mission to Kosovo. Furthermore, the Council has reiterated “the EU's adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, inter alia the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and all UN Security Council resolutions” and it has stressed that “Kosovo constitutes a sui generis case which does not call into question these principles and resolutions.” The Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel has said that “The European Union has once again successfully passed the test showing its unity and adopted a common position on recent developments in Kosovo.”

However, while the EU might have agreed on a declaration taking note of the 17 February events in Kosovo, there is little unity on whether to recognise Kosovo’s independence. Although the majority of the Member States are willing to recognise Kosovo as an independent state there is no common EU recognition of Kosovo. There are six Member States which will not recognize Kosovo at least in the near future. The Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratin said “Spain is not going to recognise this unilateral declaration of independence ... because it does not consider that this respects international law.” Kosovo independence provides perhaps just one more example that there is no such thing as an EU common foreign and security policy.

1 comment:

serbovka said...

It's about time to recognize the historical right of Kosova (Dardania) to have its destiny fulfilled-That is full independence. Kosova never was a Serbian province. It was there, since the times of birth of European civilization, a very distinct Dardanian/llyrian identity. Always populated by Dardanias who, although under constant pressure of forcefully migration by Serbian shovinism, Tito's Yugoslavia & Milloshevic's Serbia, still make up 92% of the population. They speak ilirian language with the dialect GEGE. Serbs always have been a minority there. We know that Serbs appeared in Balkans (then llyria) only by the 6th Century AD, and they speak a language more similar to Ukrainian then Russian. They have always been a minority and 'the story' of Kosova being the Heartland of Serbia is just a pure Serbian nationalist fantasy. Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Serbian’s Lies Will Collapse by Themselves. Serbs always have been considered as oppressors there, not just by Albanian majority, but also by other ethnic groups too. Serbs just occupied Kosova during the rise of the Serbian nationalism early 20th century from Ottomans, who by then were loosing the Balkans after 500 years of occupation. The borders of Kosova are well established and recognized. Now Kosova should be Free! http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/094.html
I can’t comprehend how a minority of 7% of the population, pretend to take off the land, the language, culture and the life of the rest of Kosova. Kosovars have the right to live free and independent in their land where they are born, generation after generation, live and will die.