Kosovo – what will Belgrade do now?
The Quint continues to push Serbia for further concessions on Kosovo - including the abolition of Serbian institutions in the north and an end to repeated efforts to block EULEX access - that could lead to renewed conflict and violence in the north.
Kosovo – beware triumphalism
The EU seems bent on using the leverage of the still-to-be-granted accession date to press Belgrade for more concessions, particularly concerning north Kosovo, thereby risking an escalation of tensions.
North Kosovo referendum – not binding, no surprise but it changes everything
The referendum makes clear that the northern Kosovo Serbs reject the imposition of Pristina's institutions that has been the centerpiece of Quint policy for Kosovo since 2008.
Kosovo – referendum, barricades and EU plans
Ahead of a referendum in the north on attitudes towards Pristina, there are growing signs that a number of actors - particularly KFOR and the EU - are beginning to grasp the realities of the north, including the need to treat the local leaders as legitimate interlocutors.
Kosovo – another attempt to abolish the UN in the north?
Should the Kosovo government end funding of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Administration in Mitrovica (UAM), it will cut-off one of the few institutional linkages between north Mitrovica and Pristina.
Kosovo – the referendum reconsidered
Having achieved its aim of demonstrating that the northern resistance to the imposition of Pristina institutions is a genuine popular response, and not the result of criminal coercion, it is now time to reconsider the planned 15th February referendum.
Kosovo – who does the ISG speak for?
With the ISG saying it plans to leave by the end of 2012, even whilst outstanding issues - including the north - remain, the UN must be prepared to play an essential buffering role between the two sides in the status dispute.
Kosovo – an opportunity for agreement on the north?
The recent "four-point proposal" by Serbia's president, Boris Tadic, may providethe foundation for a lasting solution; one that could be accommodated within the framework of the Ahtisaari Plan.
Kosovo – if EULEX leaves, then what?
The departure of EULEX from Kosovo would leave a vacuum in the international framework for rule of law which - in the absence of changes to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 - the UN would be required to fill.
Kosovo – what 2012 might bring
Though various factors suggest a strong effort to remove north Kosovo as an element of contention between Serbia and the West, the possibility of continued stalemate remains and the danger of renewed conflict cannot be excluded.
Kosovo – Serbia, the EU and Germany
Europe seems to be allowing Germany to lead it into a historic blunder by freezing Serbia out rather than bringing it in.
Kosovo – war or peace?
A peace initiative by Kosovo Serbs in the north opens the door to backing awayfrom further confrontation, and seems to suggest that they are prepared to enter a dialogue on the future of the north.
Serbia and the EU – who needs who?
Though the EU - seemingly motivated by the US and "led" by Germany - rejected Serbia's candidacy over its continued 'refusal' to surrender Kosovo, it is increasingly apparent that the EU needs the Balkans inside even more than the Balkans needs to get inside.
Kosovo – an end to the northern crisis?
The new agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on the crossing points, plus the removal of some barricades, may provide an opportunity to finally end the current crisis in the north that began on July 25th.
Kosovo – Quint brinksmanship
By refusing to act within their UN peacekeeping mandate, but instead trying to change the facts on the ground through the use of force, EULEX and KFOR are pushing north Kosovo to the brink.
Kosovo – sharing a conundrum
Beset with enormous - perhaps insurmountable - economic and political problems of their own, the Europeans seem uninterested and/or unable to support real solutions in the central Balkans.
Kosovo – time for a new approach
TransConflict hereby presents the testimony of Gerard M. Gallucci, the former UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica, for a hearing on the Balkans by the Sub-committee on Europe and Eurasia, part of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives.
The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo
TransConflict is pleased to present a new policy paper, entitled ‘The Ahtisaari Plan and North Kosovo’, authored by Gerard Gallucci, the former UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica.
Kosovo – separate tracks
It is increasingly apparent that the respective parties - including the Quint - are talking past each other and reacting more to what has happened, rather than what might be done to move away from conflict.
Kosovo – barricades considered
Having eschewed violence and successfully prevented the one-sided outcome in the north pushed by Pristina and its international supporters, the Serbs should now consider removing the barricades at the two main Gates in order to allow a practical test of KFOR and EULEX's status neutrality.
Kosovo – peace not self-enforcing
If KFOR's request - for complete freedom of movement for everyone - is to be taken seriously, it must go on record that it will prevent unilateral and provocative actions by both sides, and act strictly within its UN mandate.
Kosovo – some progress
The decision to allow freedom of movement for KFOR suggests a readiness among the northern Kosovo Serbs to find a way to defuse the threat of violence created by Pristina's efforts to unilaterally change the situation on the ground.
Kosovo – compromise over customs now
With the situation in the north having reached a dangerous stalemate, the need for a compromise - one that would help defuse tensions, and allow Belgrade and Pristina to resume negotiations on practical matters - grows ever more apparent.
Kosovo – NATO moving towards another confrontation?
With KFOR's extended deadline for the Serbs to remove the barricades in the north set to expire, there is a distinct possibility of violence should the use of force once again prevail over dialogue and status neutrality.
Kosovo – Quint policy bankruptcy
With support for EU membership in Serbia dropping, the Kosovo Albanians refusing to compromise and no sign that Serbs in the north are ready to surrender, it remains far from clear what the Quint's Plan B may be.