VISIT BY ANGELA MERKEL SUBJECTS THE PRO-EUROPEAN OPTION TO A TEST Cover Image

VISIT BY ANGELA MERKEL SUBJECTS THE PRO-EUROPEAN OPTION TO A TEST
VISIT BY ANGELA MERKEL SUBJECTS THE PRO-EUROPEAN OPTION TO A TEST

Author(s): Editorial Board Helsinki Charter
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji

Summary/Abstract: The visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the region was to Balkan politicians an un¬expectedly straightforward demonstration of Europe’s – and Germany’s of course – approach to regional Europeanization. The manner in which KFOR responded to latest incidents in Kosovo hinted at a new stage: the one in which all political actors, Serbian in particular, will have to lower their sights, Serbia in particular. Chancellor Merkel’s visit was preceded by one by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, fresh German troops within KFOR and its “new” resoluteness for coping with tensions in Ko¬sovo’s north heralded by (German) commander Erhard Bueller. One must bear in mind here that Germany is a main economic partner to all countries in the region. Chancellor Merkel paid a visit to Belgrade at the time crucial for Serbia’s EU prospects: the time when Serbia is expected to fulfill its obli¬gations for obtaining EU candidacy. These ob¬ligations primarily refer to its relations with Pristina. Ms. Merkel was quite clear about Eu¬ropean – and German – intentions: stabiliza¬tion of borders in the Balkans that rules out any partition, i.e. change of borders, and paci¬fication of Balkan nationalisms through strict observance of the criteria for EU candidacy (like in the case of Croatia). It is along these lines that EU wants to speed up the process of Kosovo’s sovereignty on its entire territory. Ms. Merkel’s clear-cut messages – about abolish¬ment of parallel structures in Kosovo’s north, continuation of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and unimpeded functioning of EULEX “in the entire territory of Kosovo” – testified of EU’s strategic approach to the region of the Western Balkans.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 81
  • Page Range: 1-6
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English