The EU officially proposes Lajcak for Kosovo-Serbia talks
High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, has officially nominated Miroslav Lajcak as the European Union’s mediator in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Kosovo’s President, Hashim Thaci, has openly attacked the Slovak by presenting him as an anti-Kosovo diplomat. The government has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the Slovakia’s foreign minister mediating the dialogue, Gazeta Express writes today. It brings full document, with tasks that Borrell has assigned to Lajcak.
Under this proposal, the Slovakian diplomat assumes office on 1 April this year and ends his mandate on 31 March, 2021. Until then, he is obliged to mediate the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
“Mr. Miroslav Lajcak will thus be appointed as the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade – Pristina and Western Balkans dialogue, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. The Council may decide that the mandate of the Special Representative be assigned earlier, based on an assessment by the The Committee on Politics and Security and on a proposal from the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs,” the document states.
Meanwhile, Kosovo’s Minister for External Affairs, Glauk Konjufca, in his report to the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that to Kosovo Government appoint of Lajcak as the envoy for Kosovo and Bosnia is unacceptable. However, according to a document provided by Gazeta Express, the EU has not charged Lajcak with any specific task or mission for Bosnia & Herzegovina, but has instead delegated him powers for the entire Western Balkans.
“We are against mixing Kosovo with Bosnia, as it is rumored that Miroslav Lajcak will be appointed Borrell’s envoy. This is unacceptable, and we’ve made this clear to Lajcak. We do not want to be like Bosnia in terms of internal organization,” he said.
Moreover, Konjufca expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that Lajcak comes from one of the five EU member states that didn’t recognize Kosovo’s statehood. On the other hand, in a letter that Kurti sent recently to Mr. Borell, he wrote that he will work closely with the EU envoy on the dialogue.
According to the document, the EU wants to achieve four objectives during Borrell’s term.
“1.To reach an agreement on normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia; 2. Achieve good neighborhood relations and promote reconciliation; 3. Increase the EU visibility and effectiveness through public diplomacy; 4. Support region’s efforts for advancing on its European path.”
The document states that the mandate of the Special Representative is “to facilitate the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, on behalf of the High Representative, and to work for a comprehensive normalization of relations, through a legally binding agreement that addresses all outstanding issues between the parties.”
It will also “monitor and assist the work of the parties in implementing the agreements reached earlier, within the framework of facilitating dialogue by the EU.”
At the end of a seven-page document, it’s underlined that Lajcak should prepare Borrell’s first work report at the end of September, while the other at the end of January 2021.
“The implementation of this decision and its consistency with other EU contributions to the region should remain under regular review. The Special Representative must present to the High Representative the progress report on September 30, 2020, and a report on the implementation of the entire mandate by January 31, 2021,”, the document says.
Otherwise, President Thaci said several times that he’s against the appointment of the Slovak Foreign Minister as the EU Special Representative for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
“The person in charge, that they‘re thinking of declare quickly, if they have not done so already, is a former Slovak diplomat. He is the most unreliable person to deal with this process. It a delegate by a state that hasn’t recognized Kosovo, our confidence in him is thus zero. He said that he will vote for Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO, but then he voted against; therefore, our confidence is zero,” Thaci told at a press conference held on 9 March.
During the last five years the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was mediated by Italy’s Federica Mogherini, who also acted as the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy.
While President Thaci had good relations with Mogherini, former Prime Minister Haradinaj accused her for being part of the idea for the partition of Kosovo, together with Thaci and Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic.